Android is the most popular and Best smartphone operating system in the world. Around 80% of the smartphones sales are running on Android.
Android has always criticized for being a hideout for malware, spyware, and other vulnerabilities. However, in a recent report, Google claims Android is as safe as its competitors. Android did not describe the ‘competition,’ but we can assume it must be Apple.
In 2015, Google’s operating system for smartphones was vulnerable to StageFright bug. This bug lets hacker exploit the operating system just by sending a text message.
In 2016, security a team of security analyzer revealed millions of Android phones infected with a malicious program called hummingbird. Hackers used this program to generate bogus ad revenue.
In 2017, documents revealed by Wikileaks showed the CIA had developed spyware for the Android operating system. This spyware could disclose your data to the CIA. Furthermore, it could turn your smartphones into a listening device that records the surrounding and send it to the CIA.
However, in 2018, Google also pointed out the new achievement for Android Security in a 56-page report. This report mainly talks about Google play protect. Google play safeguard works alongside Google play store and checks all app and game for threats. Now, it also works on the app installed with the APK file. Reportedly, Google deployed machine learning in play protect and discovered 60.3% of harmful apps in play store.
Google play protect also shields the Android device for any content or codes in harmful Apps or PHAs. Google recognized about 35% of PHA installations were occurring when a machine had lost network or was offline. Last October, Google enabled offline scanning mechanism in play to protect that prevented 10 million more PHA installations.
Google emphasized the Android 8.0 Oreo security detail. Smartphones with Oreo will have tons of better security features. Some of the security features for Oreo kept under the Radar.
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For example, Google has upgraded its overlay API so the apps cannot block the entire screen, not letting users exit them. One of the tactics used by apps hosting ransomware.
How Does Google know Android is getting safer?
Google is now paying a load of money to freelance bug hunters. It is harder to find flaws where there is none, to begin. As Android is taking over the world, it has become more difficult for attackers to see any bug to exploit.
Android has a massive community of defenders collectively locating faults and vulnerabilities. Google provides regular security updates to patch bugs and vulnerabilities. Besides, Google promises to increase the percentage of devices getting regular security updates.
Blocking Bad Apps
Google is also working to keep those malicious programs off Android smartphones. However, you can still download apps outside of the Google play store. Instead, it’s developing a tool to identify and block malicious programs.
With this service, Android can scan apps and identify it; it’s safe. It can warn a user if the scan finds any malicious apps. In 2017, Android stopped users 1.6 billion times from downloading harmful apps. It also deleted 40 million bad apps from users’ smartphones.
Protecting Users from malware apps is the most critical objective of Google to secure Android, Google’s head of security, Kleidermacher said.