Android: Monthly Security Update

Since 2015 Google released monthly security updates for Android. Pleased we observe that many manufacturers join in and close security holes early. The patch from July 2017 prepares pixels Owners problems. Nokia nevertheless shows astounding pace and delivers to Google first manufacturer.

  • Stagefright in Android: The patches for vulnerability
  • Android Marshmallow: features and patches

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My new favorite phone - which you would have liked?

Choose Nokia 8 or Galaxy S8.

  • 371 StimmenOoops! Something went wrong. should update helfen.Nokia 8
  • 623 StimmenOoops! Something went wrong. should update helfen.Galaxy S8

OS updates were previously a major problem in Android smartphones: HTC, Samsung, LG and other manufacturers supplied the updates from very late. Some providers delay the release of its add-on software also further. The whole process has HTC illustrated in an infographic.

Google does since the end of 2015, more responsibility and provides monthly security updates. Many smartphone manufacturers conduct work on Google's Android source code to their customers and provide timely patches. Find out here, what gaps were closed and which manufacturers provide patches.

June update already arrived at HTC and Samsung

The HTC 10 and the Galaxy S7 have already received in June 2016 the update with the security patch level. It is based on Android 6.0.1 and thus provides no new features. Nevertheless, the update for the HTC 10 is nearly 500 MB in size. There are also first bug fixes in it.

So HTC is sticking to its new software strategy. The branding free HTC 10 in the newsroom receive the update earlier than our Nexus 6P. The patch will be distributed through the OTA interface, so you can download it easily via Wi-Fi and install. The installation took our tester around twenty minutes.

HTC update 10 june 2016Nearly 500 MB are quite a lot for a patch. / © AndroidPIT

The June patch in late May has been spotted on Samsung's Galaxy S7. But only now there is an official documentation about it, what gaps were actually closed. The Android security bulletin concluded vulnerabilities are exactly listed.

In addition to the gaps in the often attacked components Media Server and webm are a number of new vulnerabilities in the drivers for camera, Wi-Fi or sound. The patches for many of them were delivered in the Android source code for Android 4.4 KitKat. In theory, smart phone manufacturers can simply play, but this rarely happens the security patch thus also on older devices.

Why are security updates important?

About Smartphones attacker can get a very intimate look into our lives. You can create a movement profile by us and haunt us at every turn. A look at the Google Dashboard tells you what Google knows about you. No unauthorized third party should be able to collect the same data about you.

  • The harsh reality: why Android will never be sure

The best-known vulnerability in 2015 was Stagefright. Thanks to her, hackers were able to send you an MMS and your phone has turned into a listening device. If you have installed an update since August 2015 you are affected.

How do I test my device for security vulnerabilities?

You need not consult a hacker to discover weaknesses in your smartphone software. The new test app called Android Vulnerability Test Suite (short VTS), of course, comes from a security company and reviewed your Android smartphone for all currently exploited vulnerabilities.

  • For APK Download Android VTS

The app is free and open source is developed (here's the source code).

install updates immediately on Nexus devices

Since Google provides to users of its Nexus devices, the installation files for the monthly security update to download, you can immediately install the update without much effort. Invites for the zip files to Google down and follow the instructions on the website.

Who is participating?

While Google presents its monthly security updates in a new blog, only some of the remaining producers to have your say. According to current knowledge the following smartphone manufacturers provide monthly security updates for new devices:

  • BlackBerry
  • Google
  • Honor
  • HTC
  • Huawei
  • LG
  • Motorola
  • Samsung
  • Sony

Even devices with Cyanogen OS receive safe and stable updates monthly. You serviceable software service Cyanogen Inc., thus bringing a high level of security to devices lower price ranges.

My device is not sure now what?

If your unit is more than two years old, you, the manufacturer and the dealer will probably refuse service. A vulnerability can be considered in principle as tool damage, whom you have not caused. So that they would actually be a case for the warranty.

Since the warranty period ends in most cases 24 months after the purchase, most manufacturers stop in this context, the maintenance of the software for corresponding models. Then you must avoid either an alternative firmware or a new device to work safely again.

So you should your manufacturer and, where appropriate consult the provider for updates because the safety risks are not to be underestimated by open gaps.

The article has been updated with information on the June update and provided with the Nexus Quick Start Guide. Comments are sometimes out of date.