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Security Enhancements in Android 4.4

Every Android release includes dozens of security enhancements to protect users. The following are some of the security enhancements available in Android 4.4:

  • Android sandbox reinforced with SELinux. Android now uses SELinux in enforcing mode. SELinux is a mandatory access control (MAC) system in the Linux kernel used to augment the existing discretionary access control (DAC) based security model. This provides additional protection against potential security vulnerabilities.
  • Per User VPN. On multi-user devices, VPNs are now applied per user. This can allow a user to route all network traffic through a VPN without affecting other users on the device.
  • ECDSA Provider support in AndroidKeyStore. Android now has a keystore provider that allows use of ECDSA and DSA algorithms.
  • Device Monitoring Warnings. Android provides users with a warning if any certificate has been added to the device certificate store that could allow monitoring of encrypted network traffic.
  • FORTIFY_SOURCE. Android now supports FORTIFY_SOURCE level 2, and all code is compiled with these protections. FORTIFY_SOURCE has been enhanced to work with clang.
  • Certificate Pinning. Android 4.4 detects and prevents the use of fraudulent Google certificates used in secure SSL/TLS communications.
  • Security Fixes. Android 4.4 also includes fixes for Android-specific vulnerabilities. Information about these vulnerabilities has been provided to Open Handset Alliance members and fixes are available in Android Open Source Project. To improve security, some devices with earlier versions of Android may also include these fixes.