One company stands above others when it comes to disclosing such vulnerabilities. Google. That’s correct. Google loves to disclose vulnerabilities in other operating system software. The company’s Project Zero aims to make the world a safer place, and recently exposed and embarrassed Microsoft as a security laggard for not patching a hole in Windows within three months.
What about Android? What’s Google’s own record regarding Android vulnerability and exploit fixes? Abysmal. Terrible. The worst.
Upgrading Is Hard Work
Apple fixes and updates OS X and iOS on a regular basis, and users take those fixes and upgrade their devices to the latest versions far more frequently than Windows PC users, or Android smartphone and tablet users.
That makes Apple’s gadgets– Mac, iPhone, and iPad– more secure for customers than anything Google does with Android updates. Why? Here’s some sample math. iOS 8, Apple’s latest major version for iPhone and iPad, is nearing 85-percent user penetration.
Meanwhile, Android’s latest OS version, code-named Lollipop, only on the newest devices, remains at less than 10-percent. In simple terms, and most of the time, Google doesn’t bother to upgrade older devices with newer versions of Android; and neither do the manufacturers or cellphone operators. To get the latest, ostensibly more secure Android version, a customer must buy a new device.
Google’s poor record of security fixes stands in stark contrast to Apple’s iOS, of which the latest versions run on older devices and almost 85-percent of all iOS devices still being used. Nearly a billion Android device owners have versions which are vulnerable to all kinds of nefarious attacks and security issues– but no help will come from Google, device makers, or cellphone companies.
When it comes to security issues, Android OS is a fragmented wild west toxic mess; the platform of choice for nearly 99-percent of all the world’s mobile device malware, a platform with a poor security record, and nearly a billion customers without ongoing protection.
Yet, Google has the brazen audacity to throw stones at Microsoft and Apple for not moving as quickly to patch non-public problems as the search engine giant thinks they should. Shame on Google. The company has become adept at pointing fingers everywhere else except toward Mountain View, CA.