Android 15 DP2 now requires authentication to vary USB modes


Abstract

  • Android 15 DP2 provides person authentication earlier than altering USB modes, enhancing system safety in opposition to unauthorized entry.
  • The brand new characteristic prevents potential knowledge theft by requiring person authentication by way of PIN, biometrics, or password.
  • Leaving Developer Choices on might nonetheless pose a threat of unauthorized knowledge switch, highlighting the significance of system safety measures.



We’re nonetheless months away from the secure launch of Android 15, however we’re beginning to get a greater glimpse at what to anticipate within the new OS model because of preview builds shared by Google. Whereas the newest developer preview launched by Google primarily consists of new APIs and conduct modifications which might be related to app builders, it additionally packs some new user-facing modifications which might be value noting. For instance, the second DP brings the Swipe as much as proceed characteristic that we’ve been ready for on the Pixel Fold. It additionally provides a easy, but welcome safety characteristic: a requirement to authenticate the person earlier than altering USB modes.


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As of Android 14 QPR1, the OS helps 5 completely different USB modes: “File switch/Android Auto” (MTP), “USB tethering” (NCM), “MIDI”, “PTP”, and “Webcam” (UVC). Beginning in Android 15 Developer Preview 2, you’ll have to authenticate your self by way of your lock display screen PIN/password/sample or by way of your biometrics earlier than you’ll be able to change USB modes. In earlier releases, you didn’t have to go any authentication challenges to vary the USB mode, although you probably did have to unlock the system within the first place to be able to entry the USB preferences web page.



It is a large safety enchancment, however there’s nonetheless a small loophole

It may not instantly make sense why Google is including this extra step to vary USB modes. The reason being that there’s no assure that the one who’s attempting to vary the USB mode is definitely the proprietor of the system. They could possibly be somebody the proprietor handed their cellphone over to or, doubtlessly, a thief. That’s why Android already requires authentication when altering or accessing sure settings and why many apps make the most of the BiometricPrompt API earlier than continuing with sure operations.

One factor to notice: When you depart Developer Choices on, then it’s attainable for another person to allow USB debugging, join your cellphone to their PC, settle for the USB debugging authorization in your cellphone, after which dump all of your recordsdata onto their PC. Thus, if you wish to actually be sure that another person can’t simply dump all of your recordsdata, then it’s best to think about leaving Developer Choices off. Google might clear up this by absolutely disabling USB knowledge signaling when the “no knowledge switch” mode is enabled, a characteristic that was added again in Android 12. Admittedly, it’s a distinct segment resolution to a distinct segment downside, however Android is utilized by billions of customers, so circumstances like these are sure to come up.


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