Android 5.0 Lollipop Upgrades Encryption, Application Control

This article goes into some of the security features and privacy settings that will be available in the newest Android 5.0 operating system, otherwise known as Lollipop. The newest feature is an enhancement of Security Enhanced Linux (SE Android). The purpose is to have encryption turned on by default and enforce security at the kernel level. Android claims this will result in third-party apps possessing fewer permissions to access Android resources. According to Zach Lanier, senior security researcher with Duo Labs, this will result in “having a real sandbox.” Android seems to be stressing the need to limit the access apps are granted. Additionally, there will be a “SmartLock” feature that will allow even more ways to lock/unlock the phone. The purpose: to encourage everyone to lock their device in order to protect all information on their phone. Finally, the article explains that users will still need to set a PIN for the device encryption to be effective. Android plans to announce this publicly and urge users to set up their PIN immediately.

The author of this article, Michael Mimoso, does an excellent job gathering expert opinions on the topic of Android security. Android seems to be acknowledging the ever growing issue with mobile security. I think they are taking a conscious step in the direction of monitoring the Play Store looking for applications that may be requesting excessive permissions from users. I think Google, and Android for that matter, has to take action to be better prevent malicious applications from acquiring excessive permissions. The other thing I will say about this article, is that is nice to see Android, not forcing, but being extremely “pushy” when it comes to individuals locking their device. It is not uncommon for people not have any form of security on their phone because they don’t believe there is anything on there that criminals would want. Clearly, this is not the case as there is many sensitive information that can be gleaned from a smartphone. Overall, Android is making great strides in the area of mobile security.

 

Citation:

Mimoso, Michael. “Android 5.0 Lollipop Upgrades Encryption, Application Control.” Threatpost. N.p., 30 Oct. 2014. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.