Feeds

Surprise Android 'KitKat' update fixes nasty OpenSSL vuln

Android 4.4.4 shipping just 18 days after the previous version

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Android fans who are hoping Google will debut a new version of the OS at its annual I/O conference in San Francsico next week might be in for a disappointment ... because the company is rolling out a new version this week.

On Friday, the Chocolate Factory published firmware images of Android 4.4.4 – yes, we're still talking "KitKat" – for the Nexus 4 and 5 phones and the Nexus 7 and 10 fondleslabs. The build number of the new release is KTU84P.

There are no official release notes so far, but Googler Sascha Prüter said in a post to his Google+ page that the update is "primarily addressing CVE-2014-0224."

That code refers to a wicked vulnerability in the OpenSSL crypto library that allows a "man in the middle" attack, where the attacker can intercept, decrypt, and potentially modify traffic between a client and server.

The update comes less than three weeks after the last KitKat version, and the rapid timing of the release has already upset the upgrade plans of at least one device manufacturer.

Motorola was the first company other than Google to start pushing the 4.4.3 update to its phones, but although many Moto X owners are already running 4.4.3 and the company was working on upgrading its Verizon Droid line, the sudden arrival of 4.4.4 meant it had to halt its plans and re-submit a new update to the wireless carriers.

"This was a significant unplanned effort that we had to undertake," Motorola employee David Schuster said via Google+. "We should be re-entering labs next week and hopefully getting TA (technical approval) in 3 to 5 weeks later depending on the carrier."

US mobile operator Sprint has confirmed via its online forums that it will roll out the 4.4.4 update to Nexus devices "in batches," beginning on Friday.

The bad news is that owners of KitKat devices from OEMs that have been slower than Motorola to distribute the latest updates will probably now have to wait even longer to receive an upgrade, as their device makers head back to their respective drawing boards. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?