iPhones and iPads are easy to spot in the wild these days, but so are Samsung smartphones, and other Android-based devices. What I find surprising about the number of Android devices on the market is how few of their owners know of these three issues.
The first, Google apps cull and harvest personal data (I have yet to find a friend or family member who knows about Google rifling through their email). The second, all the malware that’s floating around and growing on Android devices. And, finally, the fact that most Android smartphones or tablets seldom get upgraded to get the latest security releases, while up to 90-percent of iPhone and iPad owners upgrade to the latest versions because Apple makes it easy to upgrade to improved versions.
One research firm that tracks malware says the latest, called Ghost Push, has 20 different variants embedded in Android apps and easily root devices, while infecting 600,000 users a day. If you follow tech news you’ll remember the name StageFright, which infected hundreds of millions of Android devices, and is based upon a vulnerability in Android that dates back to 2008. StageFright 2.0 is on the lose and wreaking havoc on the Android community.
The question I have is simple.
“Once you know that 99-percent of the world’s mobile device malware resides on Android devices, why would you buy an Android-based smartphone or tablet?”
The answer is equally simple. Most people don’t know what that means. Most people have had or use Windows PCs where malware is commonplace, so having malware on their smartphone or tablet is just part and parcel of the status quo.
Phishing attempts aside, Mac users have enjoyed many years of nearly virus-free, malware-free computing, even though a few headlines suggest otherwise. The thing to remember is that a vulnerability in an OS does not an exploit make. That holds true for iPhone and iPad as well, though finding actual exploits in the wild is rare, and those that make it into the App Store are quickly discovered and banned.
Why would someone knowingly buy a product that has such a poor record for security vulnerabilities and exploits?