Security has always been a major focus for Android and Google Play: Android was built from day one with security in mind.
For example, the “Application Sandbox” model keeps applications running separately from other apps and the rest of the device to keep your data safe. With Verify Apps, over 1 billion devices are protected via Google Play, which conducts hundreds of millions of antivirus-like security scans of devices per day seamlessly in the background. Also, Android is open source so that anyone can comb through the code to identify and address potential security risks, which makes the platform stronger. In fact, the Android Security Rewards Program financially rewards security researchers who invest their time and effort in helping make Android more secure.
We believe the combination of these approaches has led to there being fewer than 0.15% of devices with any kind of potentially harmful app installed, as long as apps were installed from Google Play. (See more of our research.)
An additional approach to further increase the security of Android users involves updates to the device software. For the past three years, we have been notifying Android manufacturers every month through bulletins of security issues so that they can keep their users secure.
Nexus devices have always been among the first Android devices to receive platform and security updates. From this week on, Nexus devices will receive regular OTA updates each month focused on security, in addition to the usual platform updates. The first security update of this kind began rolling out today, Wednesday August 5th, to Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, Nexus 9, Nexus 10, and Nexus Player. This security update contains fixes for issues in bulletins provided to partners through July 2015, including fixes for the libStageFright issues. At the same time, the fixes will be released to the public via the Android Open Source Project. Nexus devices will continue to receive major updates for at least two years and security patches for the longer of three years from initial availability or 18 months from last sale of the device via the Google Store.
Security continues to be a top priority and monthly device updates are yet another tool to make and keep Android users safe.
Posted by Adrian Ludwig, Lead Engineer for Android Security, and Venkat Rapaka, Director of Nexus Product Management