Security has been a nightmare for hundreds of millions of Android device owners given the slow/nil issue of patches for even serious vulnerabilities.
But some relief is finally at hand for owners of Google and Samsung mobile devices.
Security – Samsung, Google Act
Anxious to counter widely held perceptions that Android mobile devices are not as secure as their iOS counterparts, Samsung and Google today separately announced major overhauls to their security update policies.
Samsung Electronics plans to implement a new Android security update process to fast track security patches over the air when security vulnerabilities are uncovered.
The goal is to send out security updates regularly about once per month.
The South Korean electronics giant said it’d disclose details about the new security update policies for specific models and timelines after talking to its carrier partners.
Separately Google said effective immediately its Nexus devices would receive regular over the air security updates in addition to the platform updates.
Google began rolling out the first security update of this kind today to its Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, Nexus 9, Nexus 10, and Nexus Player devices.
Google is promising major updates for Nexus devices for at least two years and security patches for three years from initial availability or 18 months from last sale of the device via the Google Store.
The first Google update under the new program includes fixes for the alarming libStageFright vulnerability that allows remotely code execution through a phony multimedia text message.
The proposed changes in issuing security updates by Samsung and Google are long overdue.
Security researchers have found over 90% of malware in the mobile arena are on Android devices because of poor implementation of security patches.