The Morning After: New Google initiative keeps tabs on Android security flaws

Just before the weekend, Google revealed a new initiative that helps pick up Android security flaws in non-Pixel devices.The Android Partner Vulnerability Initiative will manage security flaws it discovers, specific to third-party Android devices. 

Google didn’t explicitly call out any company names in a blog post, but a bug tracker for the program mentioned several manufacturers. Huawei had issues with insecure device backups in 2019, for example. Oppo and Vivo phones had sideloading vulnerabilities. ZTE had weaknesses in its message service and browser autofill. 

Google notified all of the vendors before disclosing the flaws, and most if not all appear to have been fixed. The initiative is conveniently timed at a point when Google itself is trying to sell us on its new Pixel phone series — which doesn’t offer such vulnerabilities. Or maybe I’m extra skeptical on a Monday morning.

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