For more than a year now, Google has been addressing security on Android through monthly updates. These updates are provided to Google's partners 30 days before being released to Nexus, Pixel, and Android One hardware in hopes that all of Android can be more secure every month. Despite these efforts, many Android phones still lack regular security updates. September 6th marks not only a new month for Google's security patch program, but a new step in further simplifying the security patch so more phones and tablets can remain up to date.
September's security patch levels will look like this:
- 2016-09-01 — patches for a pair of Critical remote code execution vulnerabilities, many serious Elevation of Privilege vulnerabilities, several Information Disclosure vulnerabilities, and a pair of Denial of Service vulnerabilities all within Android itself.
- 2016-09-05 — Everything in the 2016-09-01 patch, as well as patches for several kernel related Elevation of Privilege vulnerabilities, many Qualcomm driver-related vulnerabilities, and Elevation of privilege vulnerabilities found in other third-party drivers.
- 2016-09-06 — Everything in the 2016-09-01 and 2016-09-05 patches, as well as a fix for a Critical Elevation of Privilege vulnerability in the kernel shared memory subsystem and a fix for a vulnerability in a Qualcomm networking component.
Obviously the September 6th patch level will make your phone or tablet the most secure, but breaking up the patches into specific categories like this makes it easier for many manufacturers to release something. Google's report reminds everyone that there have been no reported cases of active exploits using any of the vulnerabilities fixed in these patches, but these are all still incredibly important additions to Android itself and should be installed as soon as possible. If you have a Nexus, Pixel, Android One, or BlackBerry Android phone you'll see this update arrive shortly through and Over the Air update. If you'd prefer to install that update on a Nexus right now, you can find the images on Google's Developer Site.
For every other manufacturer, we'll have to wait and see which patch level is offered in their update!