Google Not Providing Security Updates Older Browsers

Posted by at 10:33 am on January 12, 2015

Google is no longer plugging security holes in older versions of Android, according to the Wall Street Journal. Google quietly implemented the policy change in late 2014.

When told of a flaw impacting the internet browser on some older phones, Google told a security researcher:

“We generally do not develop the patches ourselves but do notify partners of the issue.”

The policy affects the standard browser in Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (released mid-2013) and earlier.

Google is providing security updates to the browsers in Android 4.4 KitKat and Android 5.0 Lollipop. The Journal points out that approximately two-thirds of the billion Android devices still in active use run Android 4.3 or older, so the policy change leaves an enormous number of handsets unprotected as holes are discovered.

One way around the issue is to download and use Google’s Chrome browser, which Google updates regularly, or use other third-party browsers such as Opera, Firefox, or Dolphin.

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