Monthly Android Security Updates Surface for the First Time Ever

Google has just posted the first ever monthly security update for Nexus devices, as promised during the BlackHat Conference in August.

After suffering embarrassment over the much-publicized Stagefright vulnerability, a bug that, if fully exploited, allowed an attacker to send malicious code via a simple SMS, Google has released the first ever monthly security update for Google Nexus devices, reports ArsTechnica.

The widely reported Stagefright vulnerability was a bug in the Android ecosystem’s “Stagefright” media library. Although significant in its malicious nature, the potential damage that may have been the outcome from the bug was curbed thanks to exploit mitigation techniques in newer versions of Android. Still, the bug firmly planted the spotlight on Android’s easily exploitable security structure.

Android is among the most widely used operating systems in the world, powering over a billion mobile devices including phones, tablets and other devices.

The Screaming Need for Better Android Security

The publicity gained from the Stagefright bug spurred action from Google, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, etc. ) & carriers to start paying attention to pushing through security updates to end-users routinely.

Related Article: Stagefright Vulnerability: Simple Android Hack Leaves 95% Devices Vulnerable

It was 36 days ago today when Google, Samsung and LG promised fixes for their flagship devices along with the guarantee of monthly security updates. It has been a long time coming, but Google has finally posted the first ever monthly security update for Nexus device owners.

Here are the details:

  • The update can be found as an image in the Nexus system page, titled Android 5.1.1 build “LMY48M”. The update applies to Nexus 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10.
  • A build titled “LMY48N” for Android TV-based Nexus Player is also available.
  • A detailed changelog is available here, put together by Android Police.

As far as OEMs and carriers go:

  • T-Mobile has announced OTAs (over-the-air automatic updates) for the Nexus 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9.
  • T-Mobile support page guarantees updates for the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Note 5.

Nexus system images can be found here.

This is a developing story and will be updated when more OEMs and carriers release custom updates for their devices.