Research firm finds some Android manufacturers lied about security updatesBy Robin-Leigh Chetty 13 April 2018 | Categories: news
While Android has a supremely loyal user base, the mobile operating system is not without its flaws. One in particular is the roll out of the latest updates to devices that may not be running the purest form of the OS. Even phones like the Galaxy S8 have been slower than expected when it comes to getting the freshest iteration of the software, with an estimated 1.1% of all Android devices having access to Oreo.
Now the company is dealing with another issue, following a report published by Wired in which research firm Security Research Labs (SRL) claims that several Android manufacturers are lying to users about missed security patches.
The report comes after two years of work, with SRL's Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell checking numerous devices to see if they had indeed received the security patches that the smartphones indicated they did. In many cases, the pair found what they term as a "patch gap" with some devices even missing up to a dozen security patches.
With an estimated 1200 devices being tested from the likes of Google, Samsung, Sony, HTC, Motorola and TCL, it appears all of them are not without fault in this regard. It should, however, be noted that some manufacturers fared better and worse during SRL's testing, with Samsung and Sony only occasionally missing the odd patch.
As for what will be done correct the situation remains to be seen, but following Wired's article, Google replied to them with a statement. "We’ve launched investigations into each instance and each OEM to bring their certified devices into compliance," noted the reply.
These findings highlight an important issue though. Yes, Android users have become accustomed to their devices not always receiving the latest software as promptly as desired, but the very least that companies can do is be honest with consumers about the devices they've purchased from them.
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