Google has launched a new initiative to help OEMs patch flaws and vulnerabilities quicker. The Android Partner Vulnerability Initiative will help smartphone manufacturers discover flaws and fix them sooner. This Initiative will solely focus on vulnerabilities in highly sensitive apps on the Google Play Store.
The Android Security and Privacy Team has launched the new Android Partner Vulnerability Initiative (APVI) to ‘drive remediation and provide transparency to users about issues discovered at Google that affect device models shipped by Android partners’, according to a blog post. It will help address concerning security issues and help OEMs like Oppo, Huawei, Vivo, ZTE, and Meizu. In addition, the chipset manufacturer MediaTek, Digitime, and Transsion has also been listed. According to Google, this initiative will help speed up the process of patching up potential vulnerabilities and threats.
The company has opened a job position of ‘Security Engineering Manager’ to help ‘create and maintain the safest operating environment for Google’s users and developers’. The job posting explains, “Your team will perform application security assessments against highly sensitive, third party Android apps on Google Play, working to identify vulnerabilities and provide remediation guidance to impacted application developers.”
Sebastian Porst, Software Engineering Manager for Google Play Protect told ZDNet that Google is looking to build a team that will focus on highly sensitive apps like COVID-19 contact tracing apps and election-related applications. There is already a bug bounty program called Google Play Security Reward Program (GPSRP) in play and it offers security researchers money in exchange for finding bugs, but this program is limited to apps that have more than 100 million users and highly sensitive apps aren’t always eligible for GPSRP rewards. In addition, the new initiative will improve the security of Android devices even further.
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