The news of the Stagefright exploit appears to have precipitated a much needed update commitment from Google and various Android OEMs. After Samsung announced its new Android security update process and Google revealed the details of a new Nexus update policy, LG is following suit and promising similar monthly security patch updates.
Although it hasn't been officially announced by the company, the news comes from a couple of reliable sources. First, speaking at the security conference Black Hat 2015, Googler Adrian Ludwig revealed that LG has made the same commitment to send the monthly security patches that it receives from Google to end users. This, supposedly, should last for three years after a handset is announced, the same as Nexus phones. Read More
Google is rolling out the Stagefright patch to Nexus devices as promised, but the bigger news alongside that announcement is a new update policy for Nexus devices. Going forward Google will release security patches for Nexus phones and tablets about once per month, which mirrors Samsung's recently announced Galaxy update program. Google is also making official the length of time you can expect to get Nexus updates. Read More
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is getting an OTA update today, and it takes the device from 5.0 up to 5.1.1. That means a few small tweaks to the system, but there are also some important bug fixes, including one for the Stagefright vulnerability. Read More
In a blog post published today by the researchers at Zimperium Mobile Security, the group divulged an extremely widespread security vulnerability that can be exploited with nothing more than a targeted MMS message. The hole exists in the part of the Android operating system called Stagefright, which handles the processing of certain types of multimedia.
How it works
If targeted, the hypothetical hacker needs only to send an MMS message, which in many cases doesn't even need to be read before the attacker gains access to the victim's microphone and camera. Read More
Google has just added an interesting page to the Nexus support site that lists new operating system safety warnings. According to the page, this is a boot verification system that checks the integrity of your device software during each startup. You probably haven't seen this on any devices yet, but Android M is right around the corner. Read More
Everyone is trying to come up with a better, more secure way to do passwords, but not Medium. Nope, Medium is just getting rid of them. You can now create and sign into a Medium account using only your email. This works on the web and iOS right now, and will be added to the Android app soon.
Google pays people to find and close the flaws in its systems. This is pretty common throughout the tech industry, largely because it motivates people to approach from different backgrounds and with contrasting ways of thinking, something you can't get from internal employees. With Google products getting into the hands of billions of people and serving mission critical roles, it's crucial that services and information are safe.
Over the past five years, Google says it has paid over 1.5 million dollars to people that discovered vulnerabilities in Chrome and other products through its Security Rewards program. Now it will expand this program to cover Android. Read More
Just before the weekend, LastPass came across some suspicious activity on its network. It closed off the security breach, but only after the bad guys had made off with some personal information. The incident serves as a reminder of the risks inherent with trusting a company and web service with your security.
The team found no evidence that any encrypted vault data was taken. This means you shouldn't have to change passwords on sites that you've stored in your LastPass account.
That said, some email addresses, password reminders, authentication hashes, and server per user salts were compromised. As a result, LastPass is prompting everyone to update their master passwords (and you should go change your password if you've reused it on any other sites). The company is also requiring all users who log in from a new device or IP address to first verify their accounts unless they have turned on multifactor authentication. Read More
Google has made fingerprint scanner support in Android official, but of course we knew that was coming. The Nexus 6 was supposed to have a fingerprint reader, but now future Android devices will be able to reap the benefits of native biometrics. This will be used for accessing the device, of course, but that's not all.