Google is rolling out its much-awaited monthly security patch for select models of its Pixel and Nexus-branded devices. The January security patch for Android devices is an over-the-air update.
Users will be pleased to learn that the Android 7.1.1 Nougat factory images, which contain the new security patch, are now available for download. However, these can only be downloaded through Google's developer website.
In end December 2016, reports hinted at the possibility of Google pushing out the new Android security update in the first week of January 2017. Now, Google has officially confirmed the availability of the January security patch.
The Android Security Bulletin reveals that a total of 95 vulnerabilities were spotted. The Jan. 1, 2017 patch fixed 23 bugs according to Google and a total of 72 bugs were addressed via the same patch.
"Partners were notified of the issues described in the bulletin on December 05, 2016 or earlier. Source code patches for these issues have been released to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository and linked from this bulletin," divulges the Android Security Bulletin.
The Android Security Bulletin also mentions two levels of security strings. The purpose of providing this two-level facility is to help users have immediate access to the security patch for fixing minor to major vulnerabilities.
What Are The Vulnerabilities?
The most severe vulnerability addressed by the January security patch is the execution of remote code on any affected device through several methods. The remote code execution can be carried out by the following methods: accessing browsers, emails, MMS while processing media archive, audio servers, provider of external storage, frame sequence, core networking and more.
The vulnerabilities have been rated as either critical or high by Google. Google reveals that it has not received any reports on exploitation or abuse of the vulnerabilities thus far.
Is My Device Compatible?
The January security update is available for most of the Pixel and Nexus devices. The devices eligible for the monthly security patch from Google are as follows:
Nexus 9 (Wi-Fi variant)
For those who cannot wait for the OTA update to arrive, you can download the factory image to your phone and flash the same. You can download the factory image from Google's developers site.
The build numbers for the specific Pixel or Nexus device are as follows:
Google Pixel and Pixel XL users can download NMF26U and NMF26V, which are Android Nougat-based builds, respectively.
Nexus 6P users can deploy either the N4F26I or N4F26J build, depending on their region.
Nexus 5X owners can download the N4F26I build. If you own a Nexus Player or a Nexus 9, then peruse NMF26R or N4F26M. Pixel C users can take advantage of the new N4F26I build.
Those who own a Nexus 6 need to exercise some patience as the full OTA images, as well as the refreshed factory images, are expected to be made available soon.
So are you planning to flash the factory images or wait for the OTA update to hit your compatible Pixel or Nexus device?