Google officially rolled out the next flavor of Android under a cookie name Oreo. This update brings a range of features focusing on the speed and efficiency resulting in improved performance.
Also, the Android 8.0 Oreo update tackles much-needed background activity that drains your battery and your data plan. Apart from some amazing features, the Android Oreo also has little-known security enhancements that are equally important as other features. In this article, we have compiled a list of security reasons that are present in the Android 8.0 Oreo.
In general, the Android allows apps to create popups on top of other Android apps. This resulted in some features called Picture-in-Picture (PIP) mode. However, some hackers have started exploiting this feature asking for ransoms. In this iteration of Android, there is a persistent notification whenever there's a System Alert Overlay.
Previously sideloading apps without any verification can prove to be a huge risk. But with Android Oreo, it requires you to toggle this setting on a per-app basis. For example, you can allow manual installation of APKs from the Chrome, but block installation of APKs downloaded from any other sources.
Basically, what you call as Android Verified Boot comes built-in with Android since 4.4 KitKat. A Clever Android malware with root permissions has the ability to hide making them undetectable to security apps. This prevents the device from booting up. To avoid this, Android Oreo comes with Android verified Boot 2.0, which has Rollback Protection.
This feature prevents the device from booting, in case if it is downgraded or to a more vulnerable version. It can be done by storing the operating system version inside a special hardware.
Connecting to a public Wi-Fi is always risky, as one would assume it comes with security issues. In an attempt to solve this problem, Android Oreo comes with WiFi Assistant feature that helps users to connect to a high-quality Wi-Fi network and secure it with a VPN back to Google. But there is a catch here. As of now, this feature works only in Project Fi and Nexus/Pixel devices. Hope Google rolls out this update in the near future to all Android 8.0 Oreo devices.
Google has rolled out two-factor authentication a few months back for security reasons. Sometimes this can be frustrating as we have to enter unique codes as the second form of authentication.
In order to replace this, Android Oreo brings support for physical security keys that you can be connected to your phone using Bluetooth or NFC. As the developers are building this feature in the apps, it might take some time before getting into the real-time usage.