Google launches May 2021 Security update to Pixel Phones

Android, Google, Pixel

Google has released the monthly security update for Pixel phones. The updates are available as both direct firmware downloads and over-the-air (OTA) files, but they should start appearing on at least a few phones today.

The majority of the May Android update addresses Qualcomm code vulnerabilities, including moderate camera security holes as well as three closed-source components. A trio of patches for three kernel vulnerabilities affecting MIDI, tracing, and TTY is also included. As of this writing, Google hasn’t listed any functional changes to Android in the May update. Although we wouldn’t rule out realistic improvements, we believe that this upgrade is primarily concerned with protection.

Multiple security vulnerabilities ranging in severity from mild to severe are detailed in the Android Security Bulletin for the month of May 2021, which can be found here. One of the most serious flaws in the Android Framework could allow a malicious local app to circumvent user interaction requirements and gain access to additional permissions. There are also some problems with the Android Media Framework, Android System, and some closed-source Qualcomm and MediaTek modules.

Many of the publicly released vulnerabilities, as we’ve seen in the past, don’t come with additional documentation that describes who is affected and how the patch fixes the issue.

According to Google, the May 2021 security update will be released in stages, depending on your carrier and platform, so you may not see it right away. You should get a notification once it’s open, according to Google.