Google Play Store has been targeted by hackers who managed to trick the system and infiltrate malicious applications. Even if they were taken down from the Android store, they had plenty time to infect enough devices, because users didn’t have an antivirus app installed. Anyway, the upcoming operating system, Android Nougat, will have a new feature that will block the boot process if the phone is compromised by malware.
Marshmallow was warning users that their devices are infected with malware, but it still allowed them to boot up. Nougat, on the other hand, will give users more than a warning, and even if the measure will seem radical, it will prevent malware from spreading into the system. Sami Tolvanen, Software Engineer at Google has posted on Android Developers blog that “starting with devices first shipping with Android 7.0, we require verified boot to be strictly enforcing. This means that a device with a corrupt boot image or verified partition will not boot or will boot in a limited capacity with user consent. Such strict checking, though, means that non-malicious data corruption, which previously would be less visible, could now start affecting process functionality more.”
So, if the OS will figure out that corrupted data is not malicious, it will bring additional code to guard against corruption and Google’s representative has explained that they’ve used “a technique called interleaving to allow us to recover not only from a loss of an entire 4 KiB source block, but several consecutive blocks, while significantly reducing the space overhead required to achieve usable error correction capabilities compared to the naive implementation.”
Many users will be very grateful for this new verification process, because their data will be more secure after they first restart their phones. Unfortunately for fans of custom firmware, Nougat will be hard to root and if it contains glitches, during the rooting process, devices could get bricked.
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