Ever since Android grew in terms of market share across the world, it has been criticised for being a hideout for uncountable spyware, malware, and other vulnerabilities. On the other hand, Apple’s iOS has been claimed to be comparatively secure than Android. Now, Google claims that Android ecosystem is as secure as the ‘rival’, without getting into describing who would that be. However, the main competition to Android is iOS that is Apple’s ecosystem, suggesting that Android is now touted to be equally safe and hack-free as iOS.
Google pointed this new achievement for Android in a 56-page report that mainly talks about Google Play Protect that was introduced last year. Google Play Protect resides in Google Play store and checks for all the app and game installations of any breaches or vulnerabilities. Even though there are many users who sideload apps with their APK files, but Google Play Protect works on them too. Google deployed machine learning in Play Protect that discovered about 60.3 per cent of potentially harmful apps in Play store.
In addition, Google Play Protect shields Android devices for any suspicious content or codes in Potentially Harmful Apps or PHAs. “We recognized that nearly 35% of new PHA installations were occurring when a device was offline or had lost network connectivity,” said Google in a blog post. In October last year, Google enabled offline scanning process in Play Protect that is claimed to have ‘prevented 10 million more PHA installs’.
Google also laid emphasis on the environment Android 8.0 Oreo provides to the smartphones, attacking the ransomware on the whole. Google said there was a flurry of new security features introduced with Android 8.0 Oreo, some of which may have ‘flown under the radar’. For instance, Google says that it upgraded the overlay API so that apps cannot block the entire screen, not letting the users dismiss or exit them. This is one of the common tactics employed by apps hosting ransomware.