Android Nougat will strictly enforce verified boot

Android Nougat will begin strictly enforcing verified boot on Android devices, a move that will make it harder for malware to hide on smartphones and tablets. But it could also cause devices with corrupted data or modified bootloaders to fail to boot up.

Verified boot has been a part of Android since version 4.4 KitKat, but Nougat will begin strictly enforcing it in order to keep malware and rootkits at bay.

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The idea is a good one. The user gets notified if badware has made its way onto the device and has made deep system changes to critical kernel files. It also features forward error correction that is capable of fixing some issues without any user input.

Sounds great, doesn't it? And Nexus users will be the first to get this feature.

However, as with most things, there are downsides.

The downside here is that data corruption could cause devices to fail to boot up because the verified boot process runs into problems that it can't correct. This data corruption could be as a result of software bugs or hardware issues.

Having verified boot being strictly enforced could also make life harder for those who want to make use of custom firmware, because that would involve circumventing the locked bootloader, and verified boot will detect any changes. This does not apply to Nexus devices that ship with an unlocked bootloader as standard.

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