Stagefright, a virus that makes your Android devices spy on you

Zee Media Bureau

In what could be termed as the single largest security update for mobile phones in history, Google will be patching bugs for Android called ‘Stagefright’.

“My guess is that this is the single largest software update the world has ever seen,” Adrian Ludwig, lead engineer for Android security at Google said.

“Hundreds of millions of devices are going to be updated in the next few days. It’s incredible,” he added.

So, what is ‘Stagefright’?

Stagefright was first discovered by Joshua Drake from the Zimperium security firm and is a software bug that enters your Android devices through a malware smuggled to your phones via a video text message. And one doesn’t have to even open the message for the phone to get affected.

According to the Zimperium lab, once the bug affects your Android phones, it makes your mobile’s camera and mic to spy on you. Moreover, your files will be siphoned off to faraway dark corners of the internet.

The bug also allows the attackers to perform arbitrary operations on the victim device through remote code execution and privilege escalation.

As per reports, devices using Android version than JellyBean 4.1 are more vulnarable to the virus and can be easily spied upon.

Having said that, those with newer verions of Android JellyBean 4.1 and above are also still at risk but will get a degree of proctection.

But again, there is no real worry as Google and Samsung will be rolling out security updates against the Stagefright virus on a monthly basis.

Google has actually begun rolling out updates for Nexus devices.