Well, the internet exploded..again. This time the virtual a-bomb was dropped by @jduck. He discovered a Remote Code Execution vulnerability in a library of Android that handles processing media called Stagefright. It’s bad, quite bad (estimated 950 million devices vulnerable), despite that it doesn’t give you RCE root access to a device straight up.
The most talked about exploitation currently is MMS for one simple obvious reason; almost all messaging apps use pre-loading of an MMS message. This means you don’t have to open the message to be exploited. While this is indeed a cool vector, I hope people agree that there are much more serious other vectors.
I mean how many people on my phone can I actually send an MMS? 25? 100 max perhaps?
How many people can I send an email however or make to visit a web page at virtually no cost at all? Many more and much easier too.
Here in a short discussion with @rikvduijn and jduck it’s obvious that the implications are much more frightening than the people who have you as their contact or can find your phonenumber:
And while carriers might be able to block the attack over MMS; you can’t block it on a web page or email so easily. So while I think that the MMS pre-loading is a frightening an issue; I’m much more worried about the attack vectors of email and web browsers and the fact that it’s extremely unlikely any phone older than a few months will get patched.
tl;dr: We’re pretty much fucked and this one will be around for a long time to come.