Update, February 4, 2019 (2:15pm ET): Just like in previous months, Essential is well ahead of 99 percent of other smartphone manufacturers and is already pushing out the February security patch to the Essential Phone.
As we saw with the Pixel update bulletin, this update appears to only squash generic bugs within Android and not much else.
We’re rolling out February’s security patch now. Keep an eye out for the update on your Essential Phone. pic.twitter.com/ljXyFOScpQ— Essential (@essential) February 4, 2019
Original post, February 4, 2019 (1:42pm ET) It’s February which means it’s time for Google’s monthly security update. Just on schedule, the search giant has begun rolling out the patch to all of the Pixel smartphones and Pixel C tablet.
The February security patch Google has resolved 15 vulnerabilities. While none of the bugs had been used to harm users, below is the most severe problem that is getting patched.
The most severe of these issues is a critical security vulnerability in Framework that could allow a remote attacker using a specially crafted PNG file to execute arbitrary code within the context of a privileged process. The severity assessment is based on the effect that exploiting the vulnerability would possibly have on an affected device, assuming the platform and service mitigations are turned off for development purposes or if successfully bypassed.
Unlike many months, Google’s update bulletin for Pixel devices doesn’t note any functional updates. Instead, the site only states that the “quarterly release contains many functional updates and improvements to various parts of the Android platform and supported Pixel devices.”
If you don’t want to wait for the February security patch to make its way to your phone or tablet, you can download the latest factory image or OTA file from the links below. From there, you can either flash a fresh build to your phone or sideload the OTA update.
As a reminder, Google has stopped pushing updates to the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X. If you’re still using either handset, you will have to check for third-party ROMs and other resources online if you want ongoing firmware and security upgrades.