Now is the time when the Macalope must pause from his usual coverage of Apple and take a look at how things are going over on Android.
Due to a court-mandated order.
The details of which the Macalope is not at liberty to discuss.
Turns out the timing is pretty good, though. Some would say hilariously so.
“146 New Vulnerabilities All Come Preinstalled on Android Phones.” (Tip o’ the antlers to 5cat.)
Wow! That’s… that’s a lot of vulnerabilities.
But the situation isn’t quite as bad as that. As bad as… [reviews notes]… 146 preinstalled vulnerabilities. [shakes head] Whoo. Lotta vulnerabilities.
Most of the vulnerabilities are found on phones made by small manufacturers, so most people are unlikely to ever fall victim to them. And, much like you can’t get every feature from those lists of “10 ANDROID FEATURES THE IPHONE DOESN’T HAVE” on every Android phone, you can’t get all 146 vulnerabilities on every Android phone.
So, if you were looking to collect them all, it’s not going to be that easy.
Not really sure how to spin this. Still, it’s not great.
The vulnerabilities Kryptowire found are often preinstalled at a system level, with no way to purge them from your device.
Hey, an un-installable vulnerability is just a friend you haven’t realized is stalking you!
OK, that came out bad. But, in the Macalope’s defense, it came out bad because the situation is bad. So the statement is directionally correct.
Now, here’s where the Macalope would normally adopt a sarcastic tone and say how weird this is because back in 2013, Eric Schmidt assured everyone that Android was more secure than iOS. And it’s super weird because the horny one has been hearing from Android boosters for years how Android is simply intrinsically more secure than iOS because open is magical and can never fail. But he’s not going to do that this time. The League of Sarcastic Pundits told him to give it a rest and he doesn’t want to not get invited to the holiday party.
This isn’t the fault of open source software, of course, but the open source boosters never seem to take into account the business realities that drive companies to resort to installing crapware in an attempt to make any kind of money as they race to the bottom of the market.
The thing is, Android doesn’t have to be better at security. It already has things that it’s better at, like choice in hardware (unless you want a small phone because nobody makes a small phone) and choice in stores. You could make a pretty good ad for Android based on Apple’s recent bans of apps from the App Store. But you don’t have to be good at everything. Just be the best you you can be, Android!
Seriously, though, you should get rid of those vulnerabilities, too. Because… eesh.