How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Google Pixel? Apparently, all it takes is a small team of white hat hackers from Chinese security company Qihoo 360. The team of good guys hacked into a Pixel in yes – SIXTY SECONDS. The challenge was part of the 2016 PwnFest hacking competition in Seoul. Afterwards, Google’s Chrome team promptly patched the vulnerability that allowed them entry. Doing this type of penetration testing (or pentesting) can help technology and security companies find flaws in their systems and fix them so they don’t fall in the hands of more dangerous hackers.
The Pixel is Google’s first shot at making a full-fledged iPhone killer, and it’s amazing for the most part. One key factor that makes iPhones great is their security. Just ask the FBI. Adrian Ludwig, director of security at Android, recently touted the Pixel as being as secure as the iPhone. Yeah, about that.
Apple’s products tend to be virus and hack-proof, largely due to the insane amount of control they have. Windows PC‘s are more susceptible than Macs, and Androids are more vulnerable than iOS devices. That’s just the way it has always been, though Microsoft and Google have made great strides in plugging holes in their respective dams.
Interestingly enough, despite this reputation for security, another team hacked Safari at the same event. That hack took all of 20 seconds to run, and Apple and Google aren’t alone. The list of prominent software blown apart by technical wizards at these events goes on. With these kinds of vulnerabilities present in many of the products we use, it should inspire many of us to check for signs that we have been hacked. Battery driving quicker than usual and strange apps appearing on your phone can be some indication that you could be hacked but here are some other signs of getting hacked if you want to better understand how to keep your data safe.
What does all this mean for Android? Well, it shows that despite any tech giant’s best efforts to make their software and devices as secure as possible, someone will always come along to make them look silly. This shouldn’t stop you from using your tech on a daily basis, and it shouldn’t stop you from picking up a Pixel. It really is an amazing phone, and is a great step forward for Google. Let’s hope that improving security continues to be a priority for Google and others.