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Google might call the next version of Android, 'Popsicle'

15 April, 2018, 01:32 | Author: Arnold Gilbert
  • Smartphone manufacturers caught lying to consumers about having the latest Android Security patches

But it now seems that some manufacturers who claim to push out the latest updates may be lying about featuring the latest security patches. According to the study, phones with Samsung-made chips had much fewer skipped updates. Compared to flagships, cheaper phones are found to be skipping more patches, which also tend to use cheaper chips.

Today at the Hack in the Box security conference in Amsterdam, researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell of the firm Security Research Labs plan to present the results of two years of reverse-engineering hundreds of Android phones' operating system code, painstakingly checking if each device actually contained the security patches indicated in its settings. They have examined about 1,200 firmware samples taken from various smartphones which are sourced to various vendors. Several major phone companies whose devices are owned by millions of Americans did even worse, including HTC, Huawei, LG, and Lenovo-owned Motorola, whose devices had three to four missing patches. "Since then, many device vendors have improved their patching frequency: Phones now receive monthly security updates".

Google releases Android security patches each month in the form of the Android Security Bulletin.

However, a recent study conducted by Security Research Labs has unearthed a startling fact related to the rollout of security patches.

Wired reports the existence of these "patch gaps" with manufacturers missing up to a dozen security patches, even while telling users all known issues have been addressed.

But in case you don't really care about what P stands for, the spring wallpapers are now available as the latest batch of wallpapers that Google designed for its users.

Nohl said that this "deliberate deception" wasn't as common as vendors simply forgetting to update their devices. Devices from those manufacturers had, on average, zero to one missing patch that was claimed to have been installed. Built-in platform protections, such as application sandboxing, and security services, such as Google Play Protect, are just as important.

While many of these missed security patches may not be inherently risky in isolation, hackers typically chain together multiple security holes to reach their goal, taking over devices and stealing data. "These layers of security-combined with the tremendous diversity of the Android ecosystem-contribute to the researchers' conclusions that remote exploitation of Android devices remains challenging".

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