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Security Enhancements in Android 6.0

Every Android release includes dozens of security enhancements to protect users. Here are some of the major security enhancements available in Android 6.0:

  • Runtime Permissions. Applications request permissions at runtime instead of being granted at App install time. Users can toggle permissions on and off for both M and pre-M applications.
  • Verified Boot. A set of cryptographic checks of system software are conducted prior to execution to ensure the phone is healthy from the bootloader all the way up to the operating system.
  • Hardware-Isolated Security. New Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) used by Fingerprint API, Lockscreen, Device Encryption, and Client Certificates to protect keys against kernel compromise and/or local physical attacks
  • Fingerprints. Devices can now be unlocked with just a touch. Developers can also take advantage of new APIs to use fingerprints to lock and unlock encryption keys.
  • SD Card Adoption. Removable media can be adopted to a device and expand available storage for app local data, photos, videos, etc., but still be protected by block-level encryption.
  • Clear Text Traffic. Developers can use a new StrictMode to make sure their application doesn't use cleartext.
  • System Hardening. Hardening of the system via policies enforced by SELinux. This offers better isolation between users, IOCTL filtering, reduce threat of exposed services, further tightening of SELinux domains, and extremely limited /proc access.
  • USB Access Control: Users must confirm to allow USB access to files, storage, or other functionality on the phone. Default is now charge only with access to storage requiring explicit approval from the user.