CyanogenMod Account launched to bring security and privacy features

August 19, 2013
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CyanogenMod, makers of the popular Android custom ROM, has just announced a new feature that will be integrated into future releases. The CyanogenMod Account provider will be the project's gateway to bringing in security features such as locating misplaced devices or sending secure SMS.

The account provider will allow users to access additional features that the team has planned for future releases. One such feature is a complete end-to-end encrypted service to locate misplaced devices or, if the case arises, remotely and securely wipe out the phone's data, including those on the SD card. Another feature being worked on is the ability to send secure SMS and forum integration. The new CyanogenMod Account will not ship yet with the nightly builds to give more time for users to test the feature and give feeback.

The new feature is completely optional and is promised to be secure. CyanogenMod has created a privacy policy and terms of use to calm the fears of the more security-minded users, stating that the team has no interest in selling users' data. CyanogenMod also clarifies that it has no ability to track or wipe users' data and only users will be able to do so. In a Google+ post, CyanogenMod explains the process of authenticating and communicating between the user's browser and a missing Android device, emphasizing that the server does not store the password entered by the user nor can it listen in on the conversation between browser and phone.

CyanogenMod also made a note regarding a future change in the team's releases. A "user" release branch will be signed with CyanogenMod's private key to ensure the integrity of the image being installed. However, it will sacrifice "hackability" for the sake of added security, making it ideal for end users who simply want to use CyanogenMod. A "developer" branch will still be available, signed by the generic test_keys, that will allow users to modify the image as normal.


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  • Christopher Jefferson

    So this test code does it allow one to just compile a new custom ROM? Or is that what we root users need to continue with root privileges like being able to install a custom kernel?