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Hacking iOS vs Android: Which raises the most concerns?

Among cybercriminals, there is over 13 times more interest in hacking Android over iOS.

Google debuts new Pixel, latest try in smartphone fight
This handout photo from Google on July 30, 2021 shows the new Pixel 6 smartphone; Pixel phones have been seen as a way for Google to showcase the capabilities of its free Android system, but its share of the global smartphone market has been meager - Copyright AFP Ishara S. KODIKARA
This handout photo from Google on July 30, 2021 shows the new Pixel 6 smartphone; Pixel phones have been seen as a way for Google to showcase the capabilities of its free Android system, but its share of the global smartphone market has been meager - Copyright AFP Ishara S. KODIKARA

Which smartphones attract the most interest from would-be hackers? A new data assessment provides a particular focus on the long-running ‘which is best?’ discussion point between Apple devices and Android-based systems.

The survey uses Internet search data to reveal which smartphone brands attract the highest interest from hackers worldwide. This incudes an examination into the number of searches for terms like “how to hack an android phone”, “how to hack an iPhone”, “how to hack my girlfriends iphone” to determine the interest in hacking these smartphones over the last 12 months.

The data analysis has been conducted by Rublon. For this, the firm analyzed the search data for each smartphone operating system and brand name to reveal which type of smartphone is most likely to receive an attempted hack.

In terms of interest in hacking by operating system, there is significantly more interest in hacking the Android operating system over iOS. For example, in 2021 there were 266,400 searches relating to hacking Android and there is additionally an average of 22,200 searches per month relating to hacking Android.

In contrast, for 2021, there were 19,200 searches relating to hacking iOS and an average of 1,600 searches per month relating to hacking iOS. This means there is over 13 times more interest in hacking Android over iOS.

Furthermore, the Android figures are growing. Interest in hacking Android increased 49 percent in the last year whereas interest in hacking iOS decreased 23 percent in the last year.

The data also shows that interest in hacking Windows smartphones was pretty insignificant compared to Android and iOS which attracted to most interest from would-be hackers. Here the pattern is that Windows smartphones attracted 1,320 searches for the entire year, which stands at far less than Android or iOS attracts in a single month.

With hacking by brand, it is perhaps unsurprisingly, based on relative unit price, that the iPhone attracted the most attention from would-be hackers. There were 726,000 searches related to hacking iPhones in 2021, which represents a 22 percent increase from the previous year.

Samsung smartphones attracted far less interest from hackers, receiving only 15,600 searches in the entire last year. This is about a quarter of the hacking-related searches the iPhone gets in a single month. Following this, there is little interest in hacking Huawei, LG, Motorola, Nokia, and Sony smartphones (where all five of these brands attract less than 5,000 searches related to hacking each year).

These data signal a clear warning – the prevalent interest in hacking phones is on the rise, which more expensive systems in the spotlight. These findings also emphasise the importance of adopting preventative measures.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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