We're a few days into a new month, which means it's time for a fresh set of security updates for the Nexus family and the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Factory images are available for most of the actively maintained devices, though it looks like the Pixel C is still waiting its turn. OTAs should also begin rolling out shortly, if they haven't already.
Google has already posted the associated security bulletin for April's update. Read More
Staying private online is easier said than done, but a few services are popping up that promise to shield your conversations from prying eyes. The Signal messaging app, previously known as TextSecure, comes to mind. But the WhatsApp team has been working on securing its messages using some of the same code, and now, after testing things out last month, the service is ready to roll out end-to-end encryption to all users. Read More
LastPass is known for keeping your passwords safe, but these days a password sometimes isn't enough. That's why many services have implemented 2-factor authentication (2FA) to secure your account. Now, LastPass is getting into 2FA with its own authenticator app called (predictably) LastPass Authenticator. Please ignore the iPhone above. It's on Android too. Read More
As is the (new-ish) tradition, Google rolls out security updates on the first Monday of each month. The factory images for March's updates are right on schedule with all of the recent fixes to shore up potential vulnerabilities in the operating system. LMY49H is the build number for the Nexus 10 update, which will remain cut off at Lollipop. Most of the other devices on the list are moving up to MMB29V, though a few other build numbers are available for special variants. Read More
It looks like there may still be a couple of missing images, like the Nexus 6P. Just keep checking back and they'll probably turn up shortly.
Samsung followed Google's lead last year to promise regular security patches for its most popular phones. It's been following through with the updates, and today it's time for the February patches. If you've got a flagship Samsung device from the last few years, you can expect an OTA notification soon. Read More
Two bills recently passed in the states of New York and California that aim to weaken smartphone security in order to combat crime. The laws would prevent the sale of smartphones with full-disk encryption that could not be unlocked by the manufacturer (at the request of law enforcement). In response, Rep. Ted Lieu of California, a Democrat, and Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas, a Republican, have proposed a bill, the Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications (ENCRYPT) Act of 2016, that would block state-level attempts to ban encryption on smartphones sold in the US.
The bipartisan bill addresses multiple issues. Read More
Tomorrow is apparently "Safer Internet Day," which you most likely didn't mark on your calendar. Google remembered Safer Internet Day, though. To celebrate, it has brought back the free data reward for completing a security audit of your account. A few minutes of your time gets you an extra 2GB of Drive storage for free. Read More
Google is keeping up with its promise to roll out monthly patches for Nexus devices, and it's really on the ball this time. The factory images for the February update are already available for download from the Google developer site. There are also some updated binaries for devices that need them. Read More
Some of you may think of Cerberus as a three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hell. Others may think of a service that can track down your phone and lock it as necessary. One of the two has decided to embrace material design. Read More