Technology 3 min read

Android Topped the List of Problem-Plagued Systems in 2019

Android topped a privacy group's 2019 list of the most vulnerable operating systems and software programs in the United States.

DANIEL CONSTANTE / Shutterstock.com

DANIEL CONSTANTE / Shutterstock.com

A recent analysis suggests that Android has more vulnerabilities than Windows 10.

A privacy advocacy group, thebestvpn.com, recently analyzed 20 years of data from the National Institute of Standards and Technology‘s National Vulnerability Database.

Their goal was to understand the security of operating systems — like Windows, Apple, Android, and Linux — over the past two decades. They also wanted to examine the vulnerabilities in software programs such as Microsoft Office, Apple iTunes, and Adobe Flash.

The report reads:

“There is cause for worry. Our findings show that technology products housing your sensitive data have become increasingly vulnerable to bad actors over the past 20 years.”

Here’s the breakdown of some findings from the study.

Android has More Vulnerabilities Than Microsoft’s Windows 10

According to the analysis, Android reported the most vulnerabilities in 2019, with about 414 problems. A bulk of these security flaws is a result of programming defects among third-party apps on Android.

Meanwhile, Linux and Windows 10 recorded 360 and 356 bugs, respectively, in the previous year.

While Android currently has the most vulnerabilities, Debian Linux remains the most vulnerable over the past two decades. The researchers noted that Linux suffered 3,067 security issues in the last twenty years.

However, the Linux community of users is swift to report problems. So, the appropriate bodies often resolve vulnerability issues in the operating system within days.

The report also points out that a total of 894 vulnerabilities were reported in 1999.

Nineteen years later, in 2018, the number had leaped to a whopping 16,566. However, last year’s numbers suggest a slight decline to 12,174.

The Most Popular Security Breaches in the Last Two Decades

According to the researchers, 25 percent of all security breaches involve code execution. It’s an exploit that allows intruders to access arbitrary commands or code on a targeted device.

Cross-site scripting on web apps, on the other hand, accounts for nearly a fifth of security vulnerabilities. This bug allows attackers to activate code onto web pages viewed by others.

Other vulnerabilities in the report include security bypass, unauthorized access to private data, memory corruption, as well as denial of service attacks.

Adobe Flash Player Topped the List of Most Vulnerable Software

Finally, the report assigned scores to classify software that has accumulated the most vulnerabilities over the years. The researchers attached a scale of 1 to 10 to the programs, with 1 representing the least security breaches.

Adobe Flash Player topped the list with a score of 9.4, and Microsoft Office followed with a 9.1 rating. Internet Explorer and iTunes scored 8.6 and 7.5, respectively.

Apple Watch’s operating system, WatchOS, was the least vulnerable of the 15 programs, scoring 7.4.

Everything from your bank information to what you print out is susceptible, but that doesn’t have to be acceptable,” says the researchers.

Read More: Google Removes Hundreds of Android Apps for Disruptive Ads

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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