Even if Nexus is one of the most secure smartphones available, Google announced an emergency security update after reports of a safety liability that was found in a rooting app.
Google's policy of issuing monthly security updates keeps Nexus owners away from troublesome and malicious software, but a severe Linux kernel flaw prompted the OEM to issue an emergency update outside the scheduled roadmap.
Last week, mobile device security experts at Zimperium stumbled upon a rooting application for Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 smartphones and labeled it as dangerous. Google reacted swiftly and confirmed that a publicly available rooting app exists and, what is more, it qualifies as a "critical" issue in terms of security.
As an additional safety measure, Google barred the installation of rooting apps that rely on the exposed liability, inside and outside of Google Play.
"Google has become aware of a rooting application using an unpatched local elevation of privilege vulnerability in the kernel on some Android devices (CVE-2015-1805)" Google says.
The company pointed out that only users who manually install the app were affected. The OEM adds that thanks to the Verify Apps feature, Google Play users are protected from accidentally installing rooting apps which make use of the vulnerability.
"We updated our systems to detect applications that use this specific vulnerability," reads the Android Security Advisory page.
It should be noted that Android gadgets that run on Linux kernel version 3.18 or higher are safe from harm, as there is no change for them to be infected.
Both Android Partners and the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) got a patch from Google that addresses the issue, soon after the company labeled the problem as Critical.
The latest patch rolled out on March 16, and is considered an extra layer of defense for users and Google partners alike.
Last year, a number of experts unveiled flaws in Android's safety.
Guang Gong, a Quihoo 360 researcher, demonstrated that he was able to install a third-party app to a Nexus 6 phone without interacting with the device.
We are waiting to see the Nexus updates go live for all in a few days, so if your Android handset suddenly shows that you are in for an early upgrade, install it without hesitation.