According to Google, more than half of the high-level vulnerabilities that affected Android 9.0 Pie in its first year of life are caused by errors in memory security and could have serious consequences. The idea, with Android Q, is to correct the effects of these problems, but how?
According to the Mountain View giant, software alone cannot solve the problem alone. That’s why the US company has been working on a hardware solution, developed in partnership with ARM, the English company that designs the processors used by several smartphone manufacturers.
This solution is called Memory Tagging Extension (MTE) and is designed to make it easier to identify problems with memory violations. There are two modes of operation: accurate, which provides detailed information about violations, and inaccurate, which is best suited for the always-on operation and uses less CPU.
MTE resumes the operation of instruments such as ASAN and Hwasan that help identify memory-related bugs that are more specific to Android Q. Google is working to integrate support for this solution before it becomes available. first hardware protector solutions are available.
More technical details of the solution created by Google and ARM can be found on the project page (which are linked at the end of the text in VIA).