Monthly security updates may become the norm for Android devices

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It’s nice to see some good news regarding Android security for a change. In response to the recently-discovered Stagefright bug that currently exposes around 95% of all Android devices to potential hacking, Samsung unveiled a new patching system for its devices that aims to bring Android security updates to its users much faster. Shortly after this announcement, Google and LG announced that they’d be doing the same, which means three of the most important names in Android have committed to delivering regular security updates every month. 

Taking inspiration from Microsoft’s monthly patch cycle, Google, Samsung, and LG are promising to deliver regular monthly security updates for Android, starting with a fix for the dangerous Stagefright bug. It’s been a week since Zimperium security researcher Joshua Drake revealed the Stagefright bug, which affects roughly 95 percent of the world’s one billion Android handsets and can be remotely exploited if a user receives a malicious media file over MMS. The bug, which Drake called the worst in Android’s history, has drawn criticism for Android handset makers, who have been slammed for delivering patches too slowly or not at all. Google has been faster to deliver patches to its own Nexus devices but announced yesterday that it would move to a more predictable schedule, issuing monthly security updates for its Nexus devices. It will provide the security patches for either three years from the time the device became available, or 18 months from the time it stopped selling the handset on the Google Store.

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