Improving the security for Android embedded systems
Posted on 11 March 2013.
McAfee has delivered a whitelisting security solution for Android based embedded systems. McAfee Application Control for Android resides in the Android kernel, embedded in the operating system and provides protection from the installation or execution of a malicious application on an Android-based device. McAfee also provides protection at the application layer to Android devices.


Android is quickly becoming a favorite platform for embedded engineers. According to a UBM Electronics’ 2012 Embedded Market Study, 13 percent of the surveyed embedded engineers reported using Android in a 2012 project and 34 percent reported that they are considering working with Android in 2013. With Android’s success in expanded markets, the operating system is drawing the attention of new attacks.

“McAfee is the only security technology provider that provides enforceable security by residing in the Android kernel space. As Android kernel has been adopted on core Linux platform, it was a natural ground for us to extend our whitelisting solution capabilities to Android,” said Rishi Bhargava vice president of product management, Embedded Security at McAfee. “As Android continues to grow in its adoption, McAfee is committed to making this platform as secure and trusted as other common embedded developer platforms.”

The solution provides tamper proof protection, superior operational control of devices in the field and ease of management with Android devices. Previously, embedded engineers had only a single operating system option –Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux)– if they wanted to have enforceable security capabilities for their embedded system.

“There was already growing interest in Android in embedded systems. With McAfee extending its security to Android, this will only enhance the operating system for new product designs,” said Hiroshi Komura, Associate Senior Vice President at NEC Infrontia Corporation. “NEC Infrontia is expanding its use of the Android platform in order to offer a wide range of technology choices to its customers.”

Prior to McAfee Embedded Control, Android security applications only operated at the user level, leaving devices vulnerable to system-level attacks. McAfee removes this security gap with a kernel residing security solution to improve security for the entire Android stack.

The software blocks unauthorized applications and changes on fixed-function, point-of-service infrastructures, including retail devices, medical devices, industrial control systems, office equipment, gaming devices, automotive, and various military and aerospace devices.





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