Android Stagefright Hack: How to Make Sure You're Protected

A simple text message could leave 950 million devices exposed, researchers say.

ByAlyssa Newcomb
July 28, 2015, 2:46 PM
PHOTO: An Android operating software icon sits on display with a Google Inc. logo at the Google booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Feb. 29, 2012.
An Android operating software icon sits on display with a Google Inc. logo at the Google booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Feb. 29, 2012.
Denis Doyle/Bloomberg/Getty Images

— -- Chances are your Android device is one of the 950 million Android phones vulnerable to an exploit that allows hackers to gain control of the device by sending a malware infected picture message.

Details of the hacking threat, which has been dubbed Stagefright, were published this week by cyber security research firm Zimperium.

The only devices safe from the bug are those running anything below version 2.2, according to Zimperium. A Google representative told ABC News the company's Android team was notified of the bug.

"This vulnerability was identified in a laboratory setting on older Android devices, and as far as we know, no one has been affected. As soon as we were made aware of the vulnerability we took immediate action and sent a fix to our partners to protect users," the representative said.

It was unclear yet whether any of Google's partners had pushed out the patch to users. However, Robert Siciliano, an online safety expert to Intel Security, told ABC News that now is a good time to ensure automatic updates are enabled on their devices if it's an option.

"Android users by default should have antivirus running on their mobile devices," he added. "Unfortunately antivirus is a download that requires their attention."

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