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Google Says Android Phones are Now as Secure as iPhones

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David Kleidermacher, Google’s head of security for Android, Google Play and Chrome OS, has said that his team has been hard at work to make Android bugs a thing of the past, while adding that Android is now just as safe as the competition (via CNET). Considering that Android’s main competitor is the iPhone, Google seems to be making a pretty big claim.

Google

In its recently published annual Android Security Report, Google notes that Android security has made “a significant leap forward in 2017 and many of our protections now lead the industry”. According to Kleidermacher, Android flaws have become harder for researchers to find and that Android OS now protects users from any malicious software.

Google’s security report also notes that the company is paying freelance bug hunters more money per flaw, which means it’s harder to find the flaws to begin with. 

“As Android security has matured, it has become more difficult and expensive for attackers to find high severity exploits,” the report says. In other words, the low-hanging fruit is gone. That was reflected in the results of a major annual phone hacking event, Mobile Pwn2Own: In 2017, good-guy hackers didn’t win rewards for any core Android flaws.

“As a global, open-source project, Android has a community of defenders collaboratively locating the deeper vulnerabilities and developing mitigations,” the report says. “This community may be orders of magnitude larger and more effective than a closed-source project of a similar scale.”

Kleidermacher also noted that Google has come a long way in getting phone makers to provide regular updates, and that it’s going to improve further in 2018.

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  • Who said iOS is secure?

  • It’s Me

    Did he actually make a comparison to iOS or is that just the echo chamber of bloggers that are just repeating the same assumption?

  • It’s Me

    Level of security is relative. At best, Google is now saying they finally caught up after leaving their users exposed for years.

  • Shameer Mulji

    Actually, Google did say that but that assumes one is on the latest version of Android (Android 8.0)

  • It’s Me

    OK. Just that I’ve see it mentioned here and at MibileSyrup today yet neither contains a quote from anyone actually saying it explicitly.

  • The FBI, law enforcement, and President Trump for starters.

  • FragilityG4

    As secure as a screen door on a submarine!

  • FragilityG4

    Only if the users are using the latest android and we know most are using very old versions.

  • It’s Me

    Thanks. Strange so many sites overlook such a basic piece of info…especially when the lead with it in the headline and then fail to include anything supporting the statement.

  • It’s Me

    True.

  • So Young

    I assume its only as secure as iOS only if you are on the most recent google phone and can do updates as soon as they release. When I saw most android phone stop having new update after just 2 years, it can’t be as secure as ios operall.

    Oh and I didn”t mention so many apps who require way more authorizations from the user that can be “questionnable”

  • Shameer Mulji

    Yes, this assumes you’re running the latest Google Android version (Android 8.0). Many Android devices don’t get OS updates at all.

  • swotam

    As someone who deals with iOS and Android mobile devices on a daily basis in our MDM environment, I can confirm that most devices users have today are not running Android 8, and are not capable of doing so. The average Android user I see is sporting whatever $0 Android device their carrier foisted on them, and typically are months or in some cases 1-2 years behind on patches. Many can’t even patch to current levels because their device is “too old” which in the Android world means more than 2 years except in a minority of cases.

    Saying they’re as secure as iOS is great, and maybe in 5 years when everyone using Android has a device that can run Oreo or better, they might be.

  • swotam

    The majority of the current devices on the market will never see Oreo, unless you have a flagship phone from one of the larger hardware vendors that’s relatively new.

  • Kevin

    That is the funniest thing I ever heard from Google, yet! LMAO!

  • FragilityG4

    Great post!

  • Cornfed710

    Check out MacRumours 🙁

  • toysandme

    “Secure” my ass! Coming from a company that makes a living out of data mining all of its customers not to mention they are silencing opposition to the Establishment by demonetizing what is not “advertiser friendly” on YouTube.

  • What Google meant was they are more secure because less Android users use their phones to go onto the internet and download Apps so because of predominate abstinence they are as secure as iOS users who are more internetilly active. Its a statistical fact!

  • raslucas

    People will read this with their Android 4.0 phone and think “oh finally, my phone is secure again. “

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