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Pixel Owners Urged to Update Phones Immediately

TL;DR: Google released an Android 14 security update for Pixel devices, fixing critical vulnerabilities that allow malware to control phones. Update immediately via Settings > System > Advanced > System Update. Available for Pixel 5 and newer.

Google has released a new Android 14 security update following the discovery of several high-profile Android exploits. The latest version of the OS is now available on supported Pixel devices and should arrive on other devices soon as manufacturers roll it out. Those with supported phones are advised to download the update as quickly as possible. Besides addressing exploits, the update also fixes ongoing issues with the camera and Bluetooth LE.

High-Level Vulnerabilities Addressed

The covered exploits include several high-level vulnerabilities, some even rated as “critical,” that focus on giving bad actors local escalation of privilege. This grants them control over your device’s most basic framework.

Granting anyone this level of access is dangerous, as it could enable them to install new malware and monitor your phone activities. It’s how many malware apps, such as the new Brokewell malware, can take over your phone and log keystrokes, login information, and other sensitive personal data.

Multiple Security Issues Fixed

Google’s site enumerates at least ten different high-level security issues that the May Android 14 update addresses. Some of these issues are related to Android 14’s framework, while others are connected to the system processes controlling phones themselves. Certain updates also affect other operating systems, including Android 12, Android 12L, and Android 13.

Update Availability

There are four different builds of the OS update available for Pixel users, depending on their carrier:

  1. Global
  2. KDDI (Japan)
  3. T-Mobile, C Spire, US Cellular, Cellcom
  4. Verizon

The update started rolling out on Tuesday, and its appearance may vary depending on where your device and network fall in the rollout timeline.

Installing the Latest Security Update

While it’s possible to flash the update manually using instructions on Google’s site, most users are better off installing over-the-air. If you have a Pixel 7 or newer, you can install the update under Settings > System > Advanced > System Update. For Pixel 5 or Pixel 6 owners, you can also install the update using the same steps, but only for the Global build.

Stay safe.


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