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Android Nougat will check for malware & will not boot if you have malware


Android Nougat will check for malware when it boots up on a device. If it finds malware, the OS won’t boot up. The malware check during boot was part of Marshmallow as well, but the phone would still boot if a malware was found, notifying the user that their phone has malware. It seems Google is really focusing on the security element of the Android OS. As reported earlier, Android N is also going to stop ransomware from changing device passwords.

The announcement was made on the Android Developer’s blog, where Google explained the boot check mechanism used in Android Nougat. A malware infested phone will either not boot or boot in something like safe mode, in order to limit the malware’s activity. “Starting with devices first shipping with Android 7.0, we require verified boot to be strictly enforced. This means that a device with a corrupt boot image or verified partition will not boot or will boot in a limited capacity with user consent,” said the post.

According to the Android Developer’s bog not only does Nougat strictly enforces the boot check, giving you far more than a warning. Your phone will refuse to boot or will boot in a limited capacity mode - presumably akin to safe mode - until you can get rid of the malware.

Of course this means that some non-malicious corruption of data might also brick your phone.

According to the bog: “In the changes we made to dm-verity for Android 7.0, we used a technique called interleaving to allow us to recover not only from a loss of an entire 4 KiB source block, but several consecutive blocks, while significantly reducing the space overhead required to achieve usable error correction capabilities compared to the naive implementation.”
It might cause some problems for those who use custom firmware as any device with a locked bootloader will use this to check for modifications. This means that tinkering with your smartphone will be a lot harder with Android Nougat.