Search giant Google has been stepping up its activities recently. Experts believe that this is a seasonal feature of most American large companies.
In this review we will tell you about the latest events in the camp of this enterprise. In the first part of the review, we will discuss how a team of specialists is struggling with software vulnerabilities on some mobile devices. We will also inform you about the certification program for gaming smartphones and plans to upgrade Android devices to the latest firmware version.
Hackers attack some models of Xiaomi and Samsung smartphones
At the end of 2017, Google experts fixed the Android vulnerability, but recently it was announced that some mobile gadgets were again exposed to it. We are talking about devices running Android 8.x and higher.
Issues with the vulnerability were found in the Android kernel code. As a result, hackers can gain root access to the device. An attacker could make changes to the operating system, gain access to the user's personal data, and much more.
The threat analysis team of the Google Project Zero team has determined that this type of vulnerability is currently present and is being used to carry out real attacks. The following devices are affected: Google Pixel 2, Huawei P20, Xiaomi Redmi 5A, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, Xiaomi A1, Oppo A3, Moto Z3, Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S9.
According to the company, this is not a complete list of devices susceptible to attacks. Some other smartphones require system tuning and exploits to prevent unauthorized attempts to interfere with their work.
Representatives of the Google analysis group argue that the Israeli NSO Group, which sells exploits or vulnerabilities, may be involved. The journalists asked the representatives of the Israeli company for comments. They all deny, explaining that the exploit used in the attacks is not their product. An NSO Group spokesman said the venture is developing products that help save lives, not commit illegal acts.
An Android Open Source Product employee recently revealed that certain conditions must be put in place to exploit the vulnerability. He also announced good news for Pixel users. The company will soon release updates that will eliminate all loopholes in the software for cybercriminals.
Pixel 3 and 3a smartphones are not vulnerable, new security update will make Pixel 1 and 2 the same.
Gaming Smartphone Certification Program
Gaming smartphones have long belonged to a separate category of devices. However, there are prerequisites for the fact that soon each of them will defend the right to be called a gamer. Google plans to make mandatory certification for this category of Android gadgets.
This is stated in a document that was recently posted online.
Prior to this, mention of such intentions appeared when information was leaked from another document - Google Mobile Services (GMS) version 7.0. One of its sections contains detailed descriptions of additional requirements for certification of Android gaming devices. Mention is made of their mandatory testing in OpenGL ES and Vulkan. Another requirement is that such a device has at least 2.3 GB of RAM for games. It is not allowed to be used for system needs or background processes.
To avoid performance losses when using bulky toys, it is necessary to ensure that game developers have access to all the cores of the chipset.
This certification program has not yet been released to the general public. However, insiders report that active work is currently underway to prepare it for publication.
It is not yet known when the first certified smartphones will appear.
Everyone will gradually stop using Android 9.0 Pie
The tenth version of Android was recently announced. It took quite a bit of time, but Google has already reported and made publicly available information about the gradual transition to it of Android devices. The document says that in a few months they will completely abandon the certification of products running the penultimate OS reincarnation.
A new version of the Google Mobile Services (GMS) license agreement for Google OEM / ODM partners has been released recently. It already contains changes in this regard. It also says that on January 31st next year, applications for licensing smartphones on Android 9 will end. After that date, only those devices that are controlled by Android 10 will be licensed.
GMS is a package of applications, services and libraries that is licensed when preinstalled on products using the Android OS.
Android 9 Pie began its journey around the world on August 6, 2018. After January 31, 2020, this operating system will still be in use. This is due to the long terms of consideration of applications for licensing. It is possible that this OS will be completely abandoned only in the second half of 2020, when Android 11 is scheduled to be released.
At the same time, it became known that the licensing of models running on Android 8.1 Oreo will continue until October 31 this year. This is due to the detection of problems in devices equipped with the Go version of Android 9.0 Pie.
The Topic of Article: Latest data from Google Camp.