All the VIPs who use smartphones are scared of spy software called Pegasus. The biggest question that arises in such a situation is whether Apple or Android is more secure. Apple has been vocal about the security and privacy of iPhones. This question is relevant at this time when Pegasus is full of spyware news.
Pegasus spyware is reported to have targeted 50,000 people, including hundreds in India. A forensic investigation by Amnesty International found that some of the targeted phones were iPhones. Before we talk about whether the iPhone or Android is more secure, let’s take a look at some statistics.
Amnesty International says Pegasus has been used to target more than 50,000 phone numbers over the past several years. Pegasus is spyware created by the Israel-based NSO group. The Israeli government considers Pegasus a weapon. It is exported to other countries. Amnesty International says Pegasus has been used by 45 countries, including India, but the central government has not confirmed it.
Amnesty International conducted a forensic examination of 67 phones to determine if Pegasus was infected or attacked. Of these, 37 found clear evidence that Pegasus had been attacked. Of the 37 phones, 34 are iPhones. Of these 37 phones, 24 show evidence of a successful Pegasus attack. The other 13 phones showed evidence of the attack, but there was no clear evidence that the attack was successful.
Amnesty International claims that some of these iPhones are newer models, such as the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12, and that some of them run the latest iOS 14.6 software. Most of these phones were hacked until the second week of July. Amnesty International claims that Pegasus hacked into iPhones through security bugs in iMessages.
Apple claims that the iPhone has better basic security than other phones offer. This cannot be disbelieved. Android phones are less secure compared to Apple phones. Android phones are more prone to viruses, trojans, spyware and adware targeting Android phones than the iPhone. You can see even worse apps in the Android Play Store compared to the iOS App Store.
The privacy, data integrity and security of Android phones are unclear. Google has some of the leading cybersecurity researchers, and no doubt the company’s ability to create the world’s most secure mobile operating system or smartphones. But most Android phones are not Google phones. They are Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OnePlus, Vivo, Nokia and Motorola phones. In terms of hardware and software, it is impossible to audit the security of Android phones.
An Android phone can only be more secure than an iPhone if an Android phone completely wipes its software and runs a customized “Security Focused” version of Android. This version is called Android S, where S stands for Security. This is something that cannot be done with an iPhone.
However, the problem is that creating a phone with Android S is almost impossible. Android S is not publicly available. In fact, only a large government organization or a billion-dollar company can create a “safe” version of Android.
Currently, the only Android phones available are Android phones running MIUI, OneUI and OxygenOS. These are always full of loopholes in security.
Having an Android S is unlikely to be more secure than an Android iPhone. You can never be 100 percent safe against an attacker like Pegasus. This is because there are always bugs in the software and hardware. Although some bugs are known, many are unknown. As a result of millions of dollars of research, spyware like Pegasus will always find one or two of these unknown bugs and make use of them.
Therefore, it can be seen that Apple phones are trying to provide maximum security. This does not mean that Apple cannot do more. Because people have high expectations from an iPhone. It is also wrong to say that the iPhone is not safer against Pegasus than an Android phone.