Over half of the high-level vulnerabilities that affected Android 9 Pie in its first year are due to bugs in memory security. This is stated by Google, which with Android Q and IntSan tries to reduce the effects of these problems.
The software, however, cannot do that much, so the Mountain View giant has thought of developing a hardware solution, created in collaboration with ARM, an English company that develops the design of the processors used by most smartphones.
It’s called MTE ( Memory Tagging Extension ) and is designed to make it easier to identify problems with memory breaches. The new solution has two modes of operation, Precise Mode which provides detailed information on violations and Imprecise Mode, which guarantees a lower CPU load and is more suitable for an always on operation.
MTE resumes the operation of instruments as ASAN and HWASAN, two instruments that help the identification of bugs related to memory at compile time, both specific to Android Q. Google is already working on integrating support for MTE, which should be ready before the first solutions with the new hardware protection module are available on the market.