Are hardware makers doing enough to keep Android phones secure?

Adjust Comment Print

According to a new report from Wired, some Android phone makers have apparently been skipping critical security updates and assuring consumers that they are protected against certain threats when in fact their devices remain vulnerable. These OEMs have just been changing the date of the security patches on the device without actually installing the associated patches an have been misleading their users.

Researchers Jakob Kell and Karsten Nohl from Security Research Labs highlighted the problem with relying on manufacturers to issue patches promptly.Wired reported that the team tested 1,200 Android handsets from all the major manufacturers over a two-year period, checking if the manufacturers had issued the patches as advertised. Across several instances, a "patch gap" was found, with devices showing a specific date for security updates, but missing "as many as a dozen" of the patches from that update.

They looked into the smartphones from makers like Google, Samsung, Nokia, Sony, HTC, LG, Motorola, TCL, and ZTE. A user can follow the steps given below to check if their device is running on the latest Android security patch or not.

KitGuru Says: Given the number of well-known attacks that can be leveraged against Android devices, keeping on top of security patches in important.

The vendors of the Android Phones claims that if you are updating your phones regularly then you are having all the latest security patches. Timely security patches from OEMs promise to fix those, provided OEMs deliver them on time.

It is still a huge problem, as it makes it almost impossible for users to tell the level of security on a device. "Now that monthly patches are an accepted baseline for many phones, it's time to ask for each monthly update to cover all relevant patches".

Some manufacturers fared better than others.

In a recent report by a German security firm, it was found that several Android phones missed multiple security patches leaving these devices vulnerable to a broad collection of known hacking techniques. Well, not only does that home bar look like a narrower version of the bar you'll find on the iPhone X, but we hear that the Android version may function in a quite similar way, with users swiping up to access their home screens. Security updates are one of many layers used to protect Android devices and users. Cheaper chips from the lower-end suppliers missed the most patches with a less well-maintained Android ecosystem.