A number of mobile devices on AT&T and Sprint have already begun receiving security patches for the Stagefright exploit in Android. Most of the devices that are already receiving updates are from Samsung, and that’s not a coincidence. The Korean tech company has just announced a new Android security update process that “fast tracks” security patches over the air when certain vulnerabilities are uncovered. These small updates will make their way to Samsung devices roughly once per month.
Prior to introducing this new update method, Samsung, like many other OEMs, would likely struggle to push out security patches in a timely fashion. Many security exploits are very time sensitive, so this is great news for owners of Samsung devices.
Dong Jin Koh, Executive Vice President and Head of Mobile Research at Samsung Electronics explains:
Since software is constantly exploited in new ways, developing a fast response process to deliver security patches to our devices is critical to keep them protected. We believe that this new process will vastly improve the security of our devices and will aim to provide the best mobile experience possible for our users.
Google also recently announced a new initiative that will bring monthly security OTA updates to Nexus devices, in addition to regular platform updates. The updates from Google will also be available through AOSP.
Samsung says it’s working with carriers around the world to figure out a way to best implement this new update approach, and that more details on the new method will be released soon.