Stagefright threats on Android devices

Learn more about this vulnerability affecting Android devices

Stagefright is the nickname given to a series of vulnerabilities discovered in the Stagefright media player used by Android devices.  The Stagefright vulnerabilities carry serious security implications: an attacker could exploit them to remotely control and steal data from a device by sending a victim a multimedia message (MMS) packaged with an exploit. The Stagefright vulnerabilities affect Android devices running Froyo 2.2 to Lollipop 5.1.1.

Help keep your device up-to-date with the latest Security updates. To learn more, visit AT&T Mobile Security & Call Protect.

AT&T Mobile Security doesn’t protect against Stagefright

AT&T Mobile Security cannot protect against Stagefright.  AT&T Mobile Security can protect your Android device from mobile malware delivered that could potentially leverage Stagefright exploits. Keep in mind that a device will remain at risk until it receives an operating update/ patch.

When these patches become available, you should download and install them immediately. To check if a patch is available for most Android devices, go to Settings > System Updates.

Steps to protect against Stagefright vulnerability

To protect your device we suggest disabling the MMS auto-retrieval on your device’s default SMS app. Depending on the device model and Android version, the SMS app may be named:

  • Hangouts 
  • Messages
  • Messaging
  • Messenger

To determine your device’s default SMS app, go to Settings > Default applications > Messages. Then see instructions below on how to disable auto-fetching by SMS app.

Hangouts

  1. Open Hangouts.
  2. Select Menu in the upper left corner.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Select SMS.  If SMS is not listed, the device does not use Hangouts for retrieving SMS/MMS, instead you should disable auto-fetching of MMS for the relevant application.
  5. Scroll down and uncheck Auto retrieve MMS.

Messages

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Select Menu button in the upper right corner.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Select Multimedia message (MMS).
  5. Uncheck Auto retrieve.

Messaging

  1. Open Messaging.
  2. Select Menu button in the bottom right corner.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Scroll down and uncheck Auto-retrieve.

Messenger

  1. Open Messenger.
  2. Select Menu button in the upper right corner.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Select Advanced.
  5. Disable Auto-retrieve.

 

Note:
While these instructions will make it harder for a device to be exploited via MMS, we encourage Android users to exercise caution when viewing videos displayed on untrusted websites or included in messages from unknown senders.