Google rolls out Android security patch against KRACK Wi-Fi vulnerability

7 Nov 2017

Android security updates for November have been published. Image: Google

Google introduces a whole host of updates for Android security.

It’s the beginning of another month, and with that comes the latest Android security update from Google, released yesterday (6 November).

The security patches have three levels, and Google said this is “so that Android partners have the flexibility to fix a subset of vulnerabilities that are similar across all Android devices more quickly”.

It added that the patches for these issues would be released within 48 hours of the security bulletin’s publication.

Adios to KRACK

All Google Nexus and Pixel devices can now avail of patches for the WPA2 KRACK vulnerability that was disclosed in October.

KRACK (key reinstallation attack) was uncovered by security researcher Mathy Vanhoef. The security threat affected WPA2 Wi-Fi by conning victims into reinstalling a key that was already in use, potentially allowing hackers to exploit entire networks.

Google also noted that it has fixed a “critical security vulnerability” that was found within the Media framework for Android. This vulnerability could enable a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code using a specially created file within the context of a privileged process.

Google put out a wider request to other Android partners to examine the issues in this month’s bulletin if they haven’t already done so. “Android partners are encouraged to fix all issues in this bulletin and use the latest security patch level.”

Extra bug fixes for Google devices

In terms of its own devices, Google has rolled out some bug fixes and new features.

There is a new update for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL called the Saturated Colour mode, which defaults the screen saturation. Before this update, the Pixel 2 series had a vivid colours toggle, which has now been replaced with a colours menu option with three choices: Natural, Saturated and Boosted (the default option).

There have also been changes made to prolong the life of the OLED display and protect it from the screen burn-in issues that plagued a handful of the smartphones.

A faint clicking sound that was reported in the Pixel 2 unit has also been fixed, as well as bug fixes for other Google phones.

The update files are downloadable, but an over-the-air update will also be coming in the next few days.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects