Android and iPhone security equally safe? ‘For sure’ says Google engineer

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In Manhattan, security professionals have assembled this week for the O’Reilly Security Conference, including Adrian Ludwig who is the director of security for Google’s Android platform. During the conference and in a subsequent interview, Ludwig addressed comparisons between Android and iOS in terms of security. Despite concerns that Android may lag behind Apple’s platform thanks to the more open nature of the ecosystem, Ludwig says the two are “nearly identical in terms of their platform-level capabilities.” Ludwig not only points to Pixel devices and iPhone devices being on equal footing, he claims Android will surge ahead in the near future.

Ludwig’s claim about the future of Android and security appears to be based on the many eyeballs concept as he says “the open ecosystem of Android is going to put it in a much better place.” Google is not relying just on the nature of open source development to help improve security though. He points out that the Safety Net security product now built-in to Android is proactively scanning a whopping 400 million devices and 6 billion apps on a daily basis. This means that a very small number of devices running the world’s most popular mobile operating system are even victims of malware.

Outside of potential malware infections, Ludwig also discussed bugs like Stagefright. Despite the theoretical danger these issues create, Ludwig noted that at least in terms of Stagefright no one had succeeded in exploiting the bug in the wild. According to Ludwig, “at this point we still don’t have any confirmed instances of exploitation in the wild.”

Ludwig indicated  Google is still aggressively working on improvements to the whole Android ecosystem when it comes to security. Of particular concern is the process for security patches and updates, especially those delivered by carriers and manufacturers. These update cycles need to be much faster according to Ludwig.

source: Motherboard


About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, and an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his wife and kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active in his church, a local MINI Cooper car club, and his daughter's soccer club. Jeff is married, has three kids, and a golden retriever.


  • Shiva

    Only when they make it so that every android device regardless of version or model gets the monthly security patch will it be secure… until then he’s just talking bs