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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Android 7.0 Nougat Security Measure Involves Enforced Verified Boot To Prevent Malware Attacks

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The latest Android version, the 7.0 Nougat is set to feature serious security measures.
The Android Nougat operating system would verify user device’s boot process to ensure that rootkits or other forms of malware do not have a free run on your Nougat running device.
This security boot
verification uses cryptographic integrity check for detecting illegal changes to the OS.
On the previous OS, the Marshmallow, users get alerted about While operating system's security.
However, if your device runs on the Nougat Operating System, your device will be subject to enforced verified boot.



Explaining enforced verified boot: If a device running on the Nougat OS is discovered to have a corrupt boot image or partition, the device would not boot at all or would boot only with limited capacity - with user consent.
While this is an awesome security move from Google to ensure Nougat users enjoy a malware free device upon restart of the device, there is a flip side.
Quoting an excerpt from Android Developers blog on the issue:

“Such strict checking, though, means that non-malicious data corruption, which previously would be less visible, could now start affecting process functionality more.”

Understanding the above quote means that devices with custom firmware would have issues with the Nougat security measure. Google devices having a locked bootloader will use the security process to check for modifications, however devices having unlocked bootloader will not be affected, Nexus devices inclusive.



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