Ahead of Google I/O 2019, which starts tonight, the search giant has released the security patch for the month of May. The May 2019 security patch is being rolled out to Google Pixel users and Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL owners have already begun seeing notification for the update. Unlike previous monthly security patches, the May security update does not bring any functional changes to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. However, it does resolve some of the known issues with the Android operating system and is expected to be released to other Android devices in the coming weeks.
The list of devices currently receiving May security update include Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. The update is also being released by Essential to Essential PH-1, making it the only non-Google device to get the update. The update resolves 10 issues as part of May security patch dated 2019-05-01 and 20 issues for patch dated 2019-05-05. The vulnerabilities range from high to critical and the most severe vulnerability relates to the media framework and Google notes that the vulnerability could enable a local malicious application to bypass user interaction requirements and gain access to additional permissions.
The update also patches known system vulnerabilities that could enable a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code using a specially crafted PAC file within the context of a privileged process. Google also notes that with release of every new version of Android, it makes it difficult for remote attackers to target the system but most devices, which never get a taste of newest version of Android, lose out from such system privileges. “No critical security vulnerabilities affecting the Android platform were publicly disclosed without a security update or mitigation available for Android devices,” Google said in its security and privacy review last year.
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Google also notes that there are “no reports of active customer exploitation or abuse of these newly reported issues” in the security bulletin for the month of May 2019. While all the Pixel phones are being targeted with Android 9.0 Pie update, the Pixel C tablet remains an exception, which is getting the system update based on Android 8.1 Oreo. The full download and OTA links for the May security patch are now live and Pixel users can also flash a factory image for their respective device.