Google Security Engineer says Android now as secure as iPhone

Something that’s commonly agreed upon in the tech world is that those of us who are concerned about mobile security should use an iPhone instead of an Android. It’s the reason BlackBerry fell to its knees as governments and corporations began replacing their aging tech with iPhones, but the director of security at Google says Android is just as secure as iPhone, now.

Adrian Ludwig says the platforms are “nearly identical in terms of their platform-level capabilities for almost all threat models.” Ludwig recently spoke at a security conference in Manhattan, stating that Google’s new Pixel devices are pretty much equal to the iPhone in terms of security, but Ludwig was quick to mention he believes Android will soon surpass the iPhone in terms of security.

“In the long term, the open ecosystem of Android is going to put it in a much better place.”

Ludwig attributes this to Android’s security checking method called Safety Net, which he says scans more than 400 million devices per day and scans more than 6 billion apps per day. Because of these security checks and exploit mitigation measures baked right into Android, Ludwig says the number of potentially harmful applications installed on devices in the wild is less than 1%.

For this reason, Ludwig says he believes it’s nearly impossible for a large number of people to be targeted using an exploit like Stagefright that was revealed last year. In fact, Ludwig states that despite the media frenzy around covering the Stagefright exploit, they still don’t have any instances of the exploit being used in the wild.