Manufacturers improve time to distribute security patches on Android

Manufacturers improve time to distribute security patches on Android

Worse than the so-called fragmentation of Android is the time that many manufacturers take to make the system's security fixes available. Even so, there are reasons for optimism, according to Security Research Labs, which analyzed the time spent by smartphone manufacturers to distribute the patches provided by Google.

The researchers published a report indicating that all manufacturers have improved their response time, based on updates made available since 2018.

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Among the positive highlights are the brands Sony and Nokia, which presented a zero delay interval, considering the date of availability of the correction by Google and the compilation of the version updated by the manufacturers.

Table shows the delay in days (delay) and corrections not provided (missed patches) (image: SRLabs)

The number of patch packages not made available dropped by half from 2018 to 2019, considering only updates classified as critical or high risk. In this regard LG and Samsung were the highlights, with an average of ignored / lost corrections below 0.2 per device in the year, although it took almost two weeks to integrate the corrections.

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Regarding the fragmentation of Android versions, SRLabs identified that the problem continues to increase, with less than a third of the devices evaluated using Android 9 (Pie, the penultimate stable version of the system).

The company conducted the device-based survey using the SnoopSnitch app, aimed at identifying updated versions of the system for the mobile phone. SRLabs pointed out that the percentage of users with the app on newer versions of Android should be higher than that of the general population, as they would be more advanced users or concerned about security. The survey also ignored old and unsupported versions of Android, which no longer receive security updates.