Researchers claim some Android vendors are hiding missed security patches from users

15 April, 2018, 01:36 | Author: Kristen Mcgee
  • Smartphone manufacturers caught lying to consumers about having the latest Android Security patches

Based on these findings, the researchers claim that even the biggest Android manufacturers are making misleading promises about security updates.

Android smartphone manufacturers appear to have been misleading users into thinking their devices have the latest security patches. The firmware upgrades sometimes delete few critical and important patches from your phone accidentally after you update your phone.

The researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell have been working for the past two years to reverse engineer that code running on Android devices and looking if there was some "patch gap".

NOhl and Lell chose to carry out an investigation on the Android smartphones who received and install the latest Android updates.

"Our large study of Android phones finds that most Android vendors regularly forget to include some patches, leaving parts of the ecosystem exposed to the underlying risks", the SRL report notes. For some features, the app needs to be run on rooted Android phones, but the security patch analysis will work on all phones using a Qualcomm chipset.

Security Research Labs plans to release a report on what it calls the Android "patch gap", where phone manufacturers don't deliver the latest security updates to their products. Several OEMs, particularly from the Chinese market space, often skip on security patches. Nohl said in a statement that "Vendors generally put in real effort, but things can be forgotten, skipped, or the vendor will want to do it later".

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Each monthly security update contains a collection of patches for a variety of security bugs. These security updates are distinct from Android OS updates, and are listed by "Security patch level" dates, which can generally be found in the "System About phone" dialog in the Settings menu on Android devices.

According to SRL, missed security patches were discovered on a wide range of different handsets across manufacturers.

"Google Go offers an easy way for users to specify an additional language for search and switch easily between English and Kiswahili", said Mr Murito.

This OnePlus phone seems to be in decent, if outdated, security shape.

The tech giant does this in alphabetical order and in 2018 we're up to P - with speculation already rife as to what could follow last year's Android Oreo. The company tried to do some damage control by listing its mechanisms like Google Play Protect which are being developed to ensure an extra security layer.

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