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Here's how Android 15 will protect you against fraud, scams, and screen sharing attacks

Get ready for a drove of new security and privacy protections.
By

Published onMay 15, 2024

TL;DR
  • If an app is exhibiting suspicious behavior, it will be sent to Google for further review or disabled if malicious behavior is confirmed.
  • Android 15 will hide one-time passwords from notifications and has expanded restricted settings.
  • Non-Pixel Android devices will also be able to share just one app’s content instead of the full screen.

Android 14 offers a bevy of features to maintain privacy and security, such as enhanced PIN privacy and data-sharing updates. However, it looks like you can expect a lot more protections to come your way when Android 15 rolls out.

Today, Google announced a host of new security and privacy features that will arrive with Android 15. The OS update will also be bringing many of these features to non-Pixel Android devices as well.

Live threat detection

One of the first features the company revealed is expanded Google Play protection. The Mountain View-based firm is giving Google Play the ability to perform live threat detection. According to the company, Google Play Protect will use on-device AI to analyze an app’s behavioral signals related to sensitive permissions and interactions with other apps. If suspicious behavior is found, the app will be sent to Google for further review and users will be warned about the app. And if the malicious behavior is confirmed, Play Protect will automatically disable the app.

1. Google Play Protect live threat detection
Google

The tech giant adds that suspicious behavior detection is done on-device through Private Compute Core to avoid the need for collecting data. This way the process can be done in a way that protects user privacy, Google claims. Live threat detection is expected to roll out later this year on Pixel, OPPO, Honor, Lenovo, OnePlus, Nothing, Transsion, Sharp, and other devices.

Fraud and scam protection

In terms of fraud and scams, Google is introducing a couple of new protections — hidden one-time passwords (OTP) and more restricted settings.

  • One-time passwords: OTP will be hidden from notifications in Android 15, save for a few types of apps like wearable companion apps. This is said to prevent a common attack vector used by spyware.
  • Expanded restricted settings: Android 15 will further expand on Android 13’s restricted settings to protect sensitive permissions.
2. Hide notifications and OTPs
Google

In addition to these two protections, Google says it is also testing scam alert capability. This would use Gemini Nano to alert the user in real-time by detecting patterns commonly associated with scams or fraud. However, Google didn’t reveal when this feature will roll out.

Screen sharing protection

If you use the feature that allows you to share your device’s screen with others, Google is also pushing out some protections for that. Specifically, there are three features coming that aim to fight social engineering — an attack to trick people into divulging confidential or personal information.

  • Hidden notifications and OTP: When screen sharing, private notifications and OTPs won’t be visible to remote viewers.
  • Hidden logins: The screen will be hidden when entering credentials like your username, password, or credit card number.
  • Choose what to share: Like Pixel phones, other Android devices will also be able to share just one app’s content instead of the full screen.

Surveillance

Google is also introducing a handful of cellular protections in Android 15. One of these features will notify you if your cellular network connection is unencrypted, which would potentially expose your communication to others. Google says this feature can be used to warn users if criminals are intercepting their traffic or trying to send them fraudulent SMS messages.

3. Cellular security encryption warning
Google

The other feature is designed for at-risk users, such as journalists or dissidents. These users will be warned if a potential false cellular base station or surveillance tool is recording their location via a device identifier.

 

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