Newer, stronger security core for Google's Android N

This summer, expect automatic updates, file-based encryption and mediaserver hardening

Speaking at the Google I/O developer conference on Thursday, Adrian Ludwig, head of the Android security team at Google, noted three key security features planned for Android N, the new Android version expected to debut this fall: file-based encryption, Mediaserver hardening, and automatic updates.

Android N devices can also install system updates in the background. So the next time a user powers up a device, it can automatically switch into the new updated system image.

With Mediaserver hardening, Google wants to stop bugs from becoming vulnerabilities by deprivileging and isolating components handling untrusted content. The company has had to fix vulnerabilities in Mediaserver, which is used to process media files. With Android N, the Android media team rearchitected Mediaserver to better adhere to the principle of least privilege, according to Google's security team.

Google's security efforts of late have focused on runtime permissions, direct boot, key store authentication, storage encryption, and sandboxing, Ludwig said. With Android Marshmallow, permissions are requested at runtime, and users can control individual permissions. "One of the things I worry about is making sure that users understand what it is that's going on. We found that runtime permissions are fundamentally more understandable for users," Ludwig said.

Android Marshmallow introduced key attestation, to validate the legitimacy of hardware running the software. The company also recommends use of HTTPS to protect apps. Verified boot, to assure the integrity of device software from hardware root of trust to partition, also has been required since Android Marshmallow on capable devices.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GoogleAndroid

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?