MOver 2.5 billion smartphones use Android or an Android version. However, it also makes Android OS more vulnerable and one of the biggest targets for hackers.
A report from TheBestVPN notes that Android was the most vulnerable operating system (OS) in 2019. For the report, researchers calculated figures from the National Standards Institute’s National Vulnerability Database and of technology. Android dominated the database with 414 vulnerabilities discovered in 2019.
However, other platforms were not too far away. Debian Linux was the second most vulnerable operating system with 360 vulnerabilities discovered last year, followed by Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10 third and fourth respectively.
What is more interesting in the report is that Linux has overtaken Android in terms of the most vulnerable operating system since 1999. Debian Linux had 3,067 vulnerabilities, while Android OS has seen 2,563 vulnerabilities since 1999.
Android is always safe
While the numbers seem daunting, they have nothing to worry about. As Google tells Fast Company, the number of security issues resolved does not match the security of the platform.
Meanwhile, Android is linked to vulnerabilities, given its open source nature.
“This is actually the result of the opening of the Android ecosystem working as expected. “a Google spokesperson told Fast Company.
The report notes that the number of vulnerabilities in Android has actually decreased over the years. The smartphone OS faced 525 vulnerabilities in 2018 and 843 vulnerabilities the previous year.
Who is to blame?
In the report, security researchers write that third-party apps preinstalled in Android could be a big reason.
In January, more than 50 privacy groups wrote an open letter to Google about the dangers of preinstalled apps, as these apps don’t go through the same filtering process as other Play Store apps.
But the apps aren’t entirely to blame; vulnerabilities also come from the end of the device manufacturer. For example, Samsung recently introduced new security bugs while trying to make changes to the Android kernel of the Samsung Galaxy A50.
Ultimately, it is a question of whether the smartphone receives regular security updates. A recent report notes that more than a billion Android devices are at risk because they are running Android versions that no longer receive security updates.