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Understanding Certifi-gate and Stagefright


Stagefright is a bug that affects versions 2.2 and newer of the Android operating system which means more than 95% of all Android device on the market today. This bug allows an attacker to perform any operation he or she wants on the victim device through remote code execution and privilege escalation.

The problem lies with Android’s multimedia library that is used for playback of various formats such as MP4 files and others. The attacker could potentially¬†send a simple MMS message to the victims smartphone to remotely gain control and steal private data.

Stagefright bug was first discovered by Joshua Drake and announced on July 27, 2015. The public announcement took place at the Black HAT USA and DEF CON 23 conferences. The bug was already patched by Google before the public announcement Drake reported the bug to Google in April. However, many android devices are to this day without update because this falls under the responsibility of various carriers and OEMs (original device manufacturers). Users are encouraged to check if they are running an unpatched version of Android operating system.

How to check if you are vulnerable to the Stagefright bug

The security company that announced this bug at the BlackHat conference released an app called Stagefright Detector. This app lets you quickly and easily validate if you are running a version that is not vulnerable to the Stagefright vulnerabilities. This app is able to precisely tell you which CVEs your device is vulnerable to and whether you need to update your mobile operating system.

[appbox googleplay com.zimperium.stagefrightdetector]


Certifi-gate is a result of a comprehensive study that has revealed the existence of multiple instances of a fundamental flaw within the Android customization chain. As a result, hundreds of millions of Android devices can be hijacked with attackers gaining access to any device, including screen scraping, key logging, private information exfiltration, and more. All of this though vulnerabilities in insecure apps certified by OEMs and carriers.

According to Check Point, Certifi-gate is a set of vulnerabilities in the authorization methods between mobile Remote Support Tool (mRST) apps and system-level plugs on a device. These apps allow remote personnel to offer customers personalized technical support for their devices by replicating a device’s screen and by simulating screen clicks at a remote console. This flaw affects¬†many different versions of Android operating system, including the latest version 5.0 and 5.1. Manufacturers should soon start releasing patches, but it is certain that this will take some time. Until then, it is best to take things into your own hands and see whether your device is vulnerable or not.

How to check if your device is vulnerable to Certifi-gate vulnerabilities?

The easiest way to check whether your device is vulnerable to the newly-discovered Certifi-gate vulnerability is to install Certifi-gate Scanner from Check Point Software Technologies. This is the company that publicly disclosed Certifi-gate and their application is able to check if your device is on the list of vulnerable OEMs and also if you have installed one of many affected plugins and 3rd party apps. The application is able to give you more information about the best solution that you should take to protect yourself.

[appbox googleplay com.checkpoint.capsulescanner]

Droid Writer