Copperhead OS: The startup that wants to solve Android’s woeful security:
Linux device drivers have been the operating system’s Achilles heel since day one, and the Android platform is no exception. Android phones ship with kernels frozen to ensure driver compatibility—which usually means that a new Android device comes with a kernel that’s already a year or two old.
“It’s like if you have a printer and the last printer driver made was for Windows 95, you can never upgrade your computer to a newer version,” Soghoian explains. “Android is bigger than just Google, and when Google’s partners drag their feet it undermines the security of the entire ecosystem.”
As an Android device ages, the kernel may get backported security patches, depending on the OEM’s willingness to push updates, but the handset will miss out on the latest security advances, since upgrading the kernel would break hardware compatibility with the drivers.
There are a lot of great things about Android. Device and data security just aren’t amongst them.