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fresh Android vulnerabilities can brick your phone
« on: December 09, 2019, 12:48:06 PM »

We've discussed the "F" word before when talking about Android, and when it comes to the distribution of the monthly Android security update, fragmentation could be a serious problem for millions of Android users. That's because not every handset manufacturer pushes out the latest security patch in a timely manner. This is another example of why real fans of Android or the Google ecosystem might want to buy a Pixel (along with the fact that they get the first crack at the latest build of Android and cool features such as real-time transcription and Astrophotography).

Many Android phones, including a recently purchased Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G (which comes out of the box with Android 10 at T-Mobile) did not include the December update. In a statement, Samsung said that "while we are doing our best to deliver the security patches as soon as possible to all applicable models, delivery time of security patches may vary depending on the regions and models." We can only imagine the list of Android phones that are months behind.

For the majority of Android users, the monthly security update is a snooze-fest since it doesn't make any changes or add new features that they can see or use. But the problem is that the December security update is important because of a vulnerability known as CVE-2019-2232. According to the NIST National Vulnerability Database (via Forbes), a maliciously written message could result in a permanent denial of service attack that would brick a phone running Android 8, 8.1, 9, or 10. The December Android security update includes a patch for CVE-2019-2232 which means that if the update has been sent to your phone, install it immediately. But again, the real problem is that only a limited number of devices have it at the moment. The update was first disseminated on December 2nd and Google says, "In general, it takes about one and a half calendar weeks for the OTA to reach every Google device." And that is just for the Pixel handsets.


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