How to find out how 'safe/unsafe' your Android smartphone is

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As per some reports from the web, two cybersecurity analysts from Security Research Labs ( SRL) have made a claim that in most of the cases the security updates are not being pushed.

Most non-Google Android phone makers (except for Sony) were once awful at keeping up with security patches.

These smartphone makers have created a false sense of security among their users.

Android and missing security patches: A report claim OEMS have been lying to users about which security patch update is installed on their phone.

They blogged about the Android ecosystem having a hidden patch gap, and warned that most Android vendors regularly forget to include some patches, leaving parts of the ecosystem exposed to the underlying risks.

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The whole process that takes place during the test may result in omitting a security patch. The researchers looked into 1,200 handsets from companies like Samsung, Sony, Google, Huawei, Motorola, LG, HTC, and more and discovered that there is usually a "patch gap" between what the mobiles say have been updated and what patches have been installed.

Phones with Mediatek chipsets are far more likely to deceive users about the latest updates.

Every now and then Android comes with its new updates or patches that is said to secure your smartphone. "It's small for some devices and pretty significant for others", SRL founder Karsten Nohl was quoted as saying. "Probably for marketing reasons, they just set the patch level to nearly an arbitrary date, whatever looks best", Karsten Nohl, Security Research Labs founder, told the publication. SRL says that it had tested the firmware on around 1,200 Android phones, looking for whether or not patches had been applied, which led to it finding devices that had changed the dates forward without actually adding the patches in.

The AI butler that is programmed inside Android 8.1 Oreo has gone through great lengths in improving its services but a bug has prevented it from executing one particular task - playing a song from your Google Music library. Other manufacturers like Xiaomi, OnePlus, and Nokia skipped between one and three security updates, on average. SRL Labs is going to release an update to its Android app SnoopSnitch that will let users check their phone's code for the actual state of its security updates, but it is unlikely that users will manually check for patches.

Nohl agrees that exploiting Android vulnerabilities remains hard due to these security layers and points out an easier and more common route to compromising Android devices is through the use of malicious apps - either inside Google Play or outside the store. The results are categorised as Patched, Patch missing, After claimed patch level, Test inconclusive. Security updates are one of many layers used to protect Android devices and users. The company tried to do some damage control by listing its mechanisms like Google Play Protect which are being developed to ensure an extra security layer.

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