Research

Android P might be called Popsicle, but probably not

Android P might be called Popsicle, but probably not

Your Android phone may not be as secure as it claims to be.

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

After two years of painstakingly reviewing hundreds of devices, the researchers determined some manufacturers not only failed to update their devices entirely but also lied to customers about doing so. The post, which recaps a security feature, contained a screenshot of the DNS settings with a navigation bar that we hadn't seen before.

SRL's research involved tests of more than 1200 phones from more than a dozen manufacturers, according to Wired, which first reported the findings yesterday.

The way we interact with our Android phones has been changing lately; previously there were hard buttons on the Android phones for navigation. Vendors whose devices had one to three missing patches include Nokia, Chinese giant Xiomi and fan-favorite OnePlus. At the bottom of the list were Chinese brands TCL and ZTE, all of whose phones had four or more missing updates. Since Android is an open-source operating system, it's also vulnerable to malware and other forms of deadly cyber attack.

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"Built-in platform protections, such as application sandboxing, and security services, such as Google Play Protect, are just as important".

Because these hardware-level fixes are accounted for in the Android security bulletins, this created situations where OEMs delivered updates claiming to have a "security patch level" but they were actually missing some of the patches for that "level".

Remarkably, top manufacturers like HTC, Sony, Samsung and Motorola were occasionally missing the patches. "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". It also reassured that even with patches missing, it would be hard for a bad actor to hack an Android device.

Google said it is investigating the claims and will push any vendor to bring their devices into compliance.


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