February 19, 2019
A new Android Security Bulletin released earlier this month contains a dire warning for Android users on Nougat, Oreo, and Pie. Google discovered these devices are susceptible to a malware attack using a specific PNG image. The attack allows the hacker to hijack devices running the following Android OS versions:
* Android Nougat 7.0
* Android Oreo 8.0
* Android Pie 9.0
Google says there are no known examples of this particular security flaw being exploited, but real-world attacks could soon surface. Google is urging Android device owners to update their device as soon as a patch is released for it.
The problem with needing urgent updates is that smartphone manufacturers release these updates at their own pace. Google's own Pixel devices have already been updated, but anyone else is left to the whims of the device manufacturer.
Nokia and OnePlus have typically been pretty good about getting security updates out quickly, but other Android manufacturers lag behind. Samsung updates its flagship devices in the Galaxy S series quickly enough, but mid-range devices often go months with no update.
When critical vulnerabilities like this arise, iOS users have the edge here since Apple will patch every single iPhone or iPad affected. Android users must hope and pray that their manufacturer will care enough to offer an update for the flaw.
Which Android Devices Receive Timely Updates?
If you're stuck with an Android device that doesn't receive monthly security updates, you should consider switching to a new device. Security flaws like this one are discovered every single month. Google issues fixes for these OS-level flaws, but it is up to the device manufacturer to deploy them.
Since the Google Pixel series is Google's own in-house smartphone, it receives these updates first. Google offers 36 months of security updates for its Pixel smartphones, making them the best Android smartphone for security-minded people.
The downside to this is the Google Pixel price point. A new Google Pixel 3 will cost upwards of $1,000, making it more comparable to the iPhone. Budget and mid-range devices that get monthly updates are available from manufacturers like Nokia and OnePlus.
Tired Of Not Getting Security Updates?
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