Compared to Apple and their almost uncrackable iOS, security on Android has always seemed poor. Despite the constant security patches, it seems like Google’s mobile OS is fraught with security flaws with new flaws like Stagefright appearing and reappearing with troubling frequency. Google don’t agree with this image, however, and their second annual Android security report seems to back up their stance that Android is, in fact, quite secure.
The majority of the issues identified with their security came from apps not loaded through the Google Play Store. Between 2014 and 2015, attempts to load malware through the Play Store dropped drastically with only 0.15 percent of users being infected with rogue code from the app platform. When you compare this to the 0.5 percent of all Android users that have been hit with malicious code, it shows an increase in attempts to attack Android devices without going through the Play Store.
Lead engineer of Android Security, Adrian Ludwig, released a few snippets of data to illustrate the lengths Google go to in order to keep Android secure.
- Google checks six billion installed apps daily for malware (Potentially Harmful Apps in Google’s parlance).
- A total of 400 million devices per day are scanned for network-based and on-device threats.
Android’s security is only set to improve too, with the monthly security updates able to respond to new threats quickly after they emerge. Google are also pushing for device manufacturers to keep up to date with the monthly updates that are automatically rolled out to their Nexus devices.
The full 2015 security report is 48 pages long and can be found on Google’s website.