Google rebuilt a core part of Android to kill the Stagefright vulnerability for good

Google rebuilt a core part of Android to kill the Stagefright vulnerability for good:

Android’s security team patched the initial bug within weeks, but it inspired a wave of new attacks on the way Android processes audio and video files. The first copycat bugs were reported just days after the first patch, with more serious exploits arriving months later. The most recent Android patch report, released today, patches three separate vulnerabilities in Android’s media-processing function, including one critical flaw that could be used for remote code execution.

Now, Android is rebuilding that system from the ground up. When Android 7.0 Nougat began rolling out to phones last month, it came with a rebuilt media playback system, specifically designed to protect against the Stagefright family of attacks. In a post today, Android’s security team revealed new details on exactly how Nougat security has changed and what the team learned from last year’s string of bugs.

The vulnerability is more fully and truly patched! Hurray!

A shame that few users will ever receive an update to the new version of Android, let alone the patches in the previous (version 6) of Android. The best/easiest way for most users to ‘update’ an Android-based mobile phone is to throw their current phone in the trash and buy a new one…and even then, the phone they buy will likely lack recent patches. Heck, they’ll be lucky if it has the most recent operating system!

This stands directly in contrast to iOS. Apple can push out a global patch and there are remarkably high levels of uptake by end-users. Google’s method of working with handset manufacturers and carriers alike puts end-users are greater and greater risk. They’re simply making available dangerous products. They’re behaving worse than Microsoft in the Windows XP days!

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