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Android Security Update for May Rolling Out Now

May 2, 2017

If you have an Android device, you might want to check out the new Android security update which was just released for May. In this new Android security update, there are 29 critical issues being fixed as well as over 70 other vulnerabilities. We have all of the latest information about the newest security update and what you can expect in this update.

Android Security Update Hitting Android Devices Now

While at some point, all Android devices will be getting the Android security update for May 2017, right now it is very limited. The security update is rolling out right now for people who own a Pixel device or a Nexus device. Beyond Pixel and Nexus, the security update will be rolling out for devices over the next few weeks depending on the device you own. If you have one of these devices, you also can head to the Android Developer site in order to manually flash the update onto your Android device if you prefer that method instead.

In terms of what is in the Android security update for May 2017, we are seeing 29 critical vulnerabilities being fixed. These are vulnerabilities found within the media processing server and other drivers. There are two patch level strings in this update, as has been the normal for the Android security updates over the past few months. There will be one patch level that is already out and hitting devices, and the other patch level string which will come out in the next few days. The first patch level is 2017-05-01 and the second is 2017-05-05.

The first patch level will be fixing the vulnerabilities that have been impacting all types of Android devices. The second patch will fix more specific Android problems that only impact certain manufacturers or products. The second patch is more about kernel components and other types of driver problems, and it will also verify the first update was installed. There are six Mediaserver vulnerabilities being fixed in the Android security update for May. These Mediaserver issues are labeled as critical and basically it is for the components that deal with video file and image file processing. Mediaserver has been a huge problem for Android lately, and it seems every Android security update has critical patches for those flaws.

Android Security Update May 2017 Details

Talking more about the Mediaserver flaws that are being fixed in this update, these flaws could lead to people downloading malicious media files. Not only that, but the issues could lead Android users to email or share those media files over messaging apps, and this is definitely bad. You do not even have to open up these media files for them to mess up your Android device since issue is with Mediaserver processing those media files.

Attackers who exploit the Mediaserver issues could end up remotely executing codes which could lead to special privileges that normally are not asked for with apps. All of your data could also end up compromised, with the biggest concern being multimedia messages. When it comes to Google Hangouts and the default text app on Android devices, multimedia messages are not automatically displayed due to these Mediaserver issues. The third-party messaging apps though do not often have multimedia messages disabled from automatically showing up.

Beyond those issues we also see that there are eight high-risk flaws and five moderate-risk flaws being fixed. Other issues being fixed include the GIF LIB flaw as well as the MediaTek touchscreen driver and the NVIDIA video driver issues. Some of these issues could lead to the complete take over and compromise of the Android device. Both of the Android security update patches are important, so you should install them both and not just one or the other.

You will find the files on the Android Open Source Project within the next few days if you would like to manually download and install the two patches to your Android device. If you would rather wait for the over-the-air update to hit your device, you can do that as well. Remember, only Pixel and Nexus devices will be getting the updates rolling out right now. When you will get the Android security update for May will depend on the manufacturer of your Android device and what type of device you own. You can expect the over-the-air update for other Android devices within the next few weeks.