Security notice for Android users

Posted on Monday, August 10 2015

Globe showing cyber attacks

Students using Androids should be aware of a newly discovered weakness in the devices that leaves them vulnerable to being hacked simply by downloading a multimedia message (MMS).

BU’s Information Security team have this information about protecting yourself and your device.

What is the vulnerability?

Malware could be sent to your mobile phone via a multimedia message, downloaded to your phone and executed.

What is the risk?

It could allow hackers to take complete control of a phone.

If I have been infected, what are the symptoms?

It is possible you may not notice any symptoms of an infection. However, there are giveaways:

  • Odd charges on your mobile statements
  • Odd data and excessive data usage (may show up in charges or your data quota runs out unexpectedly)
  • Significant reduction in battery life
  • Unexpected applications installed on your phone
  • You had antivirus but it has stopped / keeps stopping

How can I protect myself?

Disable the auto-retrieve multimedia messages on your android apps. You can find out how here. Once you have disabled auto-retrieve, only open MSM messages if you know the sender and are confident it is secure.

We recommend that BU students and staff switch off the auto retrieve setting on multimedia messages (MMS).

If you have any questions about this or any other security-related concern, please contact the IT Service Desk on 01202 965515 or extension 65515.