When you consider all the businesses involved in maintaining the software on your phone, from individual app developers to corporations like Google, that’s a lot of surface attacks for hackers to think about. These types of attacks are also on the rise. All of this doesn’t even take into account the secondhand market as well, where used and refurbished Android devices (and especially Pixel phones, in this case) sold by previous owners don’t have such a warranty. they are new Android installations that are safe. and clean of malware.
Android Fixes by Google
In simple terms, the new Pixel Binary Transparency checks the Android operating system of a Pixel phone to make sure the code is exactly what it should be. This is like checking the authenticity of a painting, looking for signs of tampering, or checking that all the doors and windows in the office are locked at the end of the day. Google wrote about the new feature in a blog post, and said that the feature will be built in the future.
More specifically, the new Android safety measure uses public cryptographic logs—digital bookkeeping systems—to show what a Pixel installation looks like. Entries can be added to these logs when new software is released, but they cannot be changed or deleted. In other words, any unauthorized edits will appear.
Logs use what is known as a Merkle tree to maintain the integrity of the records within them, a cryptographic structure that facilitates the process of checking large amounts of data for any tampering. The method means that smaller parts of the data can be checked to see if there have been changes or not.
While Google itself admits that most users will not need the Pixel Binary Transparency feature due to other protections already in place in Android, you can try it on your own Pixel phone or tablet. You should be familiar with compiling code and using the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) software that allows you to analyze Android devices from a computer.
Pixel Binary Transparency complements the existing Android Verified Boot (AVB) protection, which works in a similar way. As soon as an Android device boots, it looks for a special software “signature” (like a small password) that proves that everything is fine, the software hasn’t been changed, and the boot process can continue. As with Pixel Binary Transparency, any tampering is almost impossible to hide. At the same time, AVB also protects the device from rolling back to older, less secure versions of Android.