The team behind the widely successful CyanogenMod custom ROM has just announced that in future builds, users will have a whole array of new and improved security features on par with those in proprietary ROMs. CyanogenMod will be adding the ability to create a CyanogenMod account to remotely track a device, and provide the owner with a way to securely wipe the phone’s internal storage in addition to the external SD card. Furthermore, the developers hope to use the account to distribute secure SMS. These new security features may help potential CyanogenMod users that are on the fence about the decision to go the CM route.
Much like Google’s Android Device Manager and Apple’s Find my iPhone, CyanogenMod’s new functionality is intended for lost or stolen phones. If your device is lost, you can just log into your CM account and use GPS to track down where it is, to some degree of accuracy. Furthermore, if you think it’s been stolen, the ability to remotely wipe the data on the phone will at least guarantee that no crook will get your credit card information or passwords. Even if your phone is gone, you can at least rest easy knowing that your identity is safe.
In addition to the CM account announcement, the CyanogenMod team has released information regarding the new architecture they’ll be using for future releases of the ROM. In the future, releases will be split into two branches, one for normal users, the other for actual developers. These will each have specific functions and security features that are well suited for the end-user, so everyone will get exactly what they want out of CyanogenMod, whether they’re a custom ROM newbie, or an ingenious developer.
As a proud user of CyanogenMod 10.1, I’m very excited to hear about all the new things the team has in the works for us. I look forward to setting up a CM account so that I can rest easy knowing all of my data is safe. I also like the direction CM is going by adding security features that are on par with the real manufacturers, because doing so is making the line between custom and proprietary ROMs much more blurry.