Fact Check: Huawei uses Google’s Android so it is as “safe and secure” as everyone else

Is Huawei really just as secure as other mobile and telephony platforms? Richard reviews in the context of CVE. 

As reported in The Australian a spokesman for Huawei recently made the claim that their system was as safe and secure as everyone else simply because they use Android as their OS.

CC SA BY 2.0 by JohnKarak

“Huawei has consistently denied involvement in espionage and a spokesman for the company said yesterday its phones were “as safe and secure as anyone else’s’’.

“In fact, our phones’ operating system is Google Android,” the spokesman said.”

Let’s look at this in context, shall we?

According to CVEdetails, Apple has 37 vulnerabilities per product vs Google 53 declared in 2018 to date. Apple has more products on market than Google which means that there are more vulnerabilities present by volume but this is somewhat expected in much the same way you would expect a professional truck driver to have more traffic violations than a soccer mum. 

I’m not the only one to make this comparison.

While 6 months out of date, Vermeulen makes a good comparison of the raw facts in 
https://mybroadband.co.za/…/265809-ios-is-generally-more-se…. He shows that “from 2009 to 2018, Android had 1,886 vulnerabilities reported, while iOS had 1,458 vulnerabilities reported.” But this isn’t the only measure that is effective. Looking at the severity of the vulnerability disclosed: “from 2009 to 2018, the average severity of vulnerabilities on Android was 7.3, while on iOS it was 6.3 (out of 10).” 

Such analysis shows that with fewer vulnerabilities disclosed and the exposure from those vulnerabilities being less significant, iOS is “generally more secure” than its Android counterpart.

Apple is often made fun off by Android users but, are they sacrificing security for greater control over their devices? Photo: Android eats Apple by Jan Tiki CC BY 2.0

This does not take into account the relative transparency of each company when dealing with customers data and their relative attitudes towards security. From my experience and that of my colleagues, Apple is miles ahead of Google or any other counterpart in the telecommunications sector.

I find that Huawei’s comment is not made out especially with the justification of using Android OS.

For a related viewpoint please read my article in the Conversation on beacon technology:
https://theconversation.com/how-silent-signals-from-your-ph…

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