September 27, 2020

April 2019 security patches released: Pixel and Essential Phone are the first to upgrade

2 min read

On April Fool’s Day, Google released the April 2019 security patch for Android phones including its own Pixel series. In the latest security bulletin, Google did not elaborate on the security vulnerabilities that the new version specifically fixed, and encouraged OEMs to follow up on the fix as soon as possible.

Based on past information, these vulnerabilities can be exploited by remote attackers to gain access to memory or processes. The Pixel series was updated in the April 2019 security patch, including the first and second generation Pixel models. According to the Android Security Bulletin, “The most severe of these issues is a critical security vulnerability in Media framework that could enable a remote attacker using a specially crafted file to execute arbitrary code within the context of a privileged process. The severity assessment is based on the effect that exploiting the vulnerability would possibly have on an affected device, assuming the platform and service mitigations are turned off for development purposes or if successfully bypassed.

In addition to security fixes, these phones have some feature enhancements. For example, Pixel 3 improved voice unlocking through the Google Assistant, while the original Pixels improved Bluetooth connectivity.

In addition to Google Pixel’s first system update, Essential also announced the release of the patch and fixed some bugs in its own phone.