Pulling our leg: Google says it’s “just as secure”

The only question then is "As what?"


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Now, you may have heard that iOS is more secure than Android. You may have even heard that Android is a cesspool of malware. But CNet is here to bring us a different perspective: Google’s.

“Google: Android is just as secure as the other guys.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Ramin.)

The other guys? Are the other guys the net being protected by the Washington Generals?

One of the big knocks against Android is that users don’t get updates. Well, you’ll be glad to know that:

Google has already come a long way in getting phone makers to provide regular updates…

CNet doesn’t provide this tidbit, but only 21.5 percent of Android users are on the latest version, which came out in August of 2017. iOS 12, meanwhile, was released in September of 2018 and is on 60 percent of active iOS devices. While progress has been made, they’re not quite up to the level of “the other guys.”

But if you can’t provide regular updates, you can at least lie to customers about their phones being up to date as some Android OEMs do. The peace of mind of thinking you’re up to date is really what it’s all about.

Still, if Google says Android is just as secure as iOS, it must be true. It’s not like they’ve ever said exactly the same thing before like, say, back in 2012.

"Not secure? It's more secure than the iPhone," [Google chairman Eric] Schmidt immediately responded, to laughter from the audience, one mostly comprised of CIOs and tech decision-makers.

Well, still, even if you would get laughed at by as notoriously unruly a crowd as corporate IT decision makers way back in 2012, that doesn’t mean that Android isn’t just as secure as iOS toda-

“Half a million Android users tricked into downloading malware from Google Play.” (Tip o’ the antlers again to Ramin.)

Oh, come on! The Macalope couldn’t even finish his sentence!

According to a security researcher, 13 supposed game apps from the same developer downloaded a payload from a site in Istanbul, installed malware that was persistent after a restart and has full access to network traffic, and then deleted the app icon. If that’s a game it’s a really crappy one. One star.

TechCrunch’s Zack Whittaker adds:

Google has spent years trying to double down on Android security by including better security features and more granular app permission controls. But the company continues to battle rogue and malicious apps in the Google Play app store, which have taken over as one of the greatest threats to Android user security.

While you could try to make the argument that “Android” the operating system is as secure as iOS, “Android” the soup to nuts user experience is clearly not. Sure, bad things do creep into the iOS App Store as well, but not in the same frequency or degree of malfeasance as on Google Play.

The Macalope would suggest that Google “pull the other one” but even for a four-hoofed mythical beast, there isn’t a shank they haven’t already pulled.

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