Google’s own Android project chief has admitted that Android OS is sufficiently large and insecure that if he had a company dedicated to malware, he would target Android. Yes, friends, this is Windows vs. the Mac all over again.
He Said What?
Can you imagine the faces of Google’s public relations people when Android chief Sundar Pichai said this?
We cannot guarantee that Android is designed to be safe, the format was designed to give more freedom. When people talk about 90% of malware for Android, they must of course take into account the fact that it is the most popular operating system in the world. If I had a company dedicated to malware, I would also be addressing my attacks on Android.
Let the backtracking begin.
So, for an OS to have freedom, it must be insecure, a magnet for malware? That’s probably not what Pichai was trying to say but that’s how it sounds.
The fact is, Android OS resides on about 80-percent of all the world’s smartphones and tablets. Apple’s iOS for iPhone and iPad resides in a relative walled garden of app curation, and suffers almost no malware.
Meanwhile, 98-percent of the malware for mobile devices are on Android. Isn’t this something like the old Windows-is-insecure vs. the Mac-is-secure battles of a few years ago?
What’s going on?
That Was Then, This Is Now
Well, back in the day, Microsoft’s Windows was on about 95-percent of the personal computers in the world, and the Mac registered barely a blip; a few percentage points. Therefore, Windows was the target for malware and what a target it was.
The common thinking then was malware makers targeted windows because it was a large target, the Mac was not, so why bother? Forget about the fact that the Mac was simply more secure from a design and user standpoint.
Fast forward to 2014 where Android OS is the dominant mobile platform, riddled with enough holes that it attracts 98-percent of the known mobile malware. Apple’s iOS? Pretty much zero, but is that because iPhone and iPad have a tiny number of users?
No. Apple’s mobile devices have hundreds of millions of users, and most of the affluent users who buy online, but the cultivated walled garden that is iOS makes it more difficult for malware to succeed.
It looks to me as though Google is the new Microsoft since Android is not only not designed to be safe, it’s not as stable, not as usable, and certainly not as original as Apple’s iOS. But it is more infected.