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In-depth

Google fixes 78 vulnerabilities in Android

Tech giant patches flaw that let hackers take over your phone

A red Android mascot

Google has fixed a whopping 78 vulnerabilities in its Android operating system in its latest security bulletin.

The firm's Android October Security Bulletin, which this month addresses 31 more security flaws than last month's, is spread across two different patch levels.

"These patch levels organise security flaws based on the components they affect, with the 2016-10-01 security patch level' affecting core Android services, drivers, and components that all smartphone vendors must address with high priority," Google said in the bulletin.

Meanwhile, the second 2016-10-05 security patch level' addresses issues in selected drivers and components that only some OEMs deploy with their Android versions, and smartphone vendors are required to implement only if they use those components.

The most severe of the issues patched were critical security vulnerabilities in device-specific code that could enable remote code execution, leading to "the possibility of a local permanent device compromise", Google said. Affected devices might have require reflashing the operating system to repair the device.

"We have had no reports of active customer exploitation or abuse of these newly reported issues," Google said, advising that those concerned should refer to the Android and Google service mitigations section for details on the Android security platform protections, such as SafetyNet, which improve the security of the Android platform.

Alongside the bulletin, Google also released a security update to Nexus devices through an over-the-air (OTA) update. Within this, Google said it has released the Nexus firmware images to the Google Developer site, and the Security Patch Levels of October 05, 2016 or later address these issues.

Supported Nexus devices will receive a single OTA update with the 5 October, 2016 security patch level, Google said.

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