After Stagefright, Samsung and LG plan monthly bug patches

Samsung and LG have announced they will work with Google to roll out monthly security patches to their Android-powered devices, a week after the Stagefright bug was discovered.

The Stagefright bug is said to affect more than 95 per cent of all Android smartphones and can be passed from device to device by video and picture messages.

After security researcher Joshua Drake uncovered the flaw, critics have attacked both Google and Android phone makers for failing to quickly roll out security patches to fix such widespread bugs.

Google did issue an update to selected Android devices soon after the company learnt of the bug, but the time it took to roll out it meant many users were open to attack for longer than they should have been.

Although Google is always the first to fix problems like this, it only rolls patches out to its own-branded Nexus devices, leaving other phone manufacturers out in the cold.

However, it has vowed to push the updates out faster and will issue a monthly update schedule to try to ensure bugs like Stagefright do not infect phones.

Samsung has now followed Google's lead and said it will also start an update programme to ensure no device goes unprotected and this means issuing a patch as quickly as possible to users.

"With the recent security issues, we have been rethinking the approach to getting security updates to our devices in a more timely manner," Dong Jin Koh, Samsung's head of mobile research and development, said.

"Since software is constantly exploited in new ways, developing a fast response process to deliver security patches to our devices is critical to keep them protected. We believe that this new process will vastly improve the security of our devices and will aim to provide the best mobile experience possible for our users."

Google also said it will continue to support devices up to 18 months after it withdraws units from sale, meaning customers will be protected even if they buy a handset as it's being phased out.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.