Android has its fair share of malware attacks and general issues, but Android Nougat will help to combat one of the worse kinds. Ransomware is a type of malware which leaves an infected device open for password resets and allows hackers to capture all of your pertinent information. Although not common for mobile devices, these types of malware still rear its ugly head every once in awhile.
Symantec, the company behind Norton Security and Antivirus, has published findings that show that Android Nougat will prevent ransomware from taking over your device. In previous versions of Android, it was possible for hackers to gain access to your device, reset the password, then steal any information that is on your device. Users would be locked out of their devices due to the password reset and would be left vulnerable to having their personal information taken over.
Android Nougat combats ransomware by a change in the code surrounding the resetPassword API. Previously, this API would be used to not only set a users password, but to change the password as well. With the new update the API has been changed to only set the password, which ensures “that malware cannot reset the lockscreen password, as the change is strictly enforced and there is no backward compatibility.”
Symantec recommends the following steps to help keep your device safe from attacks:
- Keep your software up to date
- Refrain from downloading apps from unfamiliar sites and only install apps from trusted sources
- Pay close attention to the permissions requested by apps
- Install a suitable mobile security app, such as Norton, to protect your device and data
- Make frequent backups of important data
Android Nougat is expected to be released in the next couple of months, but it’s great to see how the latest version of Android will keep its users more protected than ever.