It can be a scary world out there for smartphones, and while by and large most users will never face a hacker’s wrath, news of some security vulnerabilities with the potential to cause major headaches have Android users concerned. In particular, last week the world learned of an issue with how Android handles MMS video content, and how a specially-crafted message could use Android’s StageFright media indexing system to compromise your phone’s security. While OEMs are already rushing to issue patches, Samsung thinks there must be a better way to get fixes out to phones in a timely manner, and today shares word of its new Android security update process.
Since the difference between a minor vulnerability and one that causes serious harm to millions of users can be as simple as how quickly a patch can be distributed, Samsung wants to make sure its users have access to the latest fixes, as soon as humanly possible. To that end, it’s decided to come up with a distribution system that’s more agile than typical system-level phone updates. While full details aren’t yet available, Samsung’s intention is to get relevant security updates out to its phones on a monthly basis.
To pull this off, Samsung is recruiting carrier help, so it’s clear that even this revised update system won’t cut them out of the loop entirely. Just how cooperative they’ll be remains to be seen, and we’ll be curious to see if Samsung really does manage to get these important security updates out to all users in a relatively tight timeframe, or if some problem carriers will end up dragging their feet and slowing things down.
Update: While we’re talking StageFright-related updates, Google has a bunch out for Nexus devices (with its own plans for monthly distribution) and Alcatel Onetouch is getting one out to Idol 3 users next week.