Factory images with September’s Security Patch now available for Pixel and Nexus devices

Google has confirmed that it will indeed be launching the Pixel 2 on October 4, and we at TalkAndroid can hardly wait. In the meantime, if you own a Pixel or eligible Nexus device running Android 8.0 Oreo, you know what time of the month this is, it’s when you get the latest Security Patch on your handset as well as any other firmware tweaks. While security patches aren’t usually terribly exciting, the September update has the added bonus of fixing the BlueBorne flaw that affects a couple of billion Android devices. 

[Download] Use the official BlueBorne Vulnerability Scanner app to check if your phone is safe

By now, you may have heard a little about the BlueBorne Bluetooth vulnerability that billions of devices are exposed to. Even if you haven’t actually paired with another device, many of us leave Bluetooth active on our phones, which leaves them vulnerable to BlueBorne because it doesn’t even need to pair with the handset to take control of it. Scary, right? An IoT security company called Armis Labs first discovered ‘BlueBorne’, and has also published an app that you can download to check if your handset is vulnerable to this latest attack.

Samsung pushes out firmware update for Galaxy Note 8 with camera improvements and security patches

The Galaxy Note 8 was officially announced last month at an Unpacked event held in New York, with preorders going live on August 24th. With the official release date of September 15th coming up in just a couple of days time, Samsung is rolling out a day one update for the Galaxy Note 8 that includes some optimizations and improvements.

Google clarifies tech support deadlines for Nexus and Pixel devices

With the Pixel and more recent iterations of the Nexus line, Google has tried to be a little more transparent about exactly how long users can expect support for their devices. That’s included software and security updates, but now Google has clarified just how long you’ll be able to get tech support online and over the phone for your pure Android devices.

Google Play Protect is the new public-facing security package for Android

Security on Android is no longer the exaggerated problem it once was. The phones, tablets, smartwatches, and streaming devices powered by the platform are all safe and secure. We’ve known that for years to be honest. This week, however, Google made an effort to bring its care for security to the forefront. Google Play Protect is a “comprehensive security services” package for Android devices that’ll monitor behavior and protect your data.

Android O coming with picture-in-picture mode, app autofill, notification dots, among others

While many smartphones are still waiting for their Android 7.0 Nougat update, Google is charging full steam ahead with the developer preview for the platform’s next release: Android O. Today, during the Google I/O 2017 keynote, Google announced a host of new features coming with Android O, including picture-in-picture support, smart text selection, OS security enhancements, and more.

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 iris scanner may help users unlock financial transactions

New reports out of Korea indicate there may be some growing interest from financial firms like banks or credit card companies to incorporate iris scan security into the methods used to secure financial transactions. Iris scanning may be familiar to more users now with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ which both make use of the technology as a way for users to unlock their devices. The latest interest shown in this technology could open the door to its use for security purposes when consumers make use of mobile payment platforms.

U.S. President Donald Trump won’t give up his unsafe Android phone

Donald Trump, the new President of the United States, doesn’t like being told what to do. His brash, straightforward behavior is what helped him get into the White house. But you’d think the people around Trump would be listened to when they explain his phone needs to be replaced for security reasons. After all, this is the man that has railed against the intelligence community multiple times.

A new report from the New York Times says Trump is still using his unsafe Android phone.

Ghost Push re-appears as Gooligan malware in biggest theft of Google accounts yet


Some old malware that targets older versions of the Android operating system was implicated in the biggest theft of Google account data yet. The malware is called Ghost Push and has been in the wild for a few years now as Google and other security firms have battled to minimize its impact. However, a new variant called Gooligan was determined this past summer, in public statements made today by security firm Check Point and Google, to be implicated in the theft of around 1.3 million Google account credentials.

Android and iPhone security equally safe? ‘For sure’ says Google engineer


In Manhattan, security professionals have assembled this week for the O’Reilly Security Conference, including Adrian Ludwig who is the director of security for Google’s Android platform. During the conference and in a subsequent interview, Ludwig addressed comparisons between Android and iOS in terms of security. Despite concerns that Android may lag behind Apple’s platform thanks to the more open nature of the ecosystem, Ludwig says the two are “nearly identical in terms of their platform-level capabilities.” Ludwig not only points to Pixel devices and iPhone devices being on equal footing, he claims Android will surge ahead in the near future.

Google posts October’s security update for Android


Many of us are waiting patiently to see Google announce a raft of new devices later today, as well as wondering if the much-leaked Pixel and Pixel XL handsets have anything left to surprise us with. Until the launch event begins, Nexus and Pixel C owners will be glad to hear that the search giant is in the process of rolling out its October Security Bulletin for Android devices.

Yahoo expected to announce major data breach affecting 200 milion users


Yahoo was most recently in the news when the wireless carrier, Verizon, snapped the company up for around $4.6 billion after it failed to turn its fortunes around in the search engine and advertising segments, a deal that is still subject to regulatory approval. Today, Yahoo has made the headlines due to reports surfacing that it suffered a security breach back in 2012, with the details of around 2 hundred million Yahoo users being up for grabs on the dark web. As such, the search company is expected to make an official announcement on the issue sometime this week. 

Google launches new Project Zero Prize to find Android vulnerabilities


Although Google already has programs in place to encourage hackers and developers to help identify bugs in their code, especially items that could be used as the basis of a vulnerability, some recent Android episodes have highlighted the need to step things up a notch. In response, Google’s Project Zero team announced today a new contest called the Project Zero Prize that could yield $200,000 for the winning entry.