On Tuesday, Microsoft and Google’s episode of cold war surfaced once again when the former criticized the search engine company for its policy regarding loopholes in the system of Chrome. Earlier last year, Google openly highlighted the vulnerabilities of Windows for which Microsoft did not release a patch and the news of a weakness in the system was an open invitation to hackers and cyber-criminals. Microsoft took the revenge in a way by identifying the ransomware in Chrome and releasing an official statement where Google was questioned on their security protocols and ethical stances.
Google is now working on the protection of its systems because Drive, YouTube, Gmail, and Android Playstore contain a lot of personal information that needs proper security protocols and parameters to ensure the inaccessibility of intruders into the system which can be detrimental. Google is taking initiatives aimed at improving their security systems by offering $1000 to security analysts if they can hack and fix the apps on Google Playstore. The aim is to identify the loopholes and secure them before the cyber-attackers access the vulnerabilities of the system.
These initiatives of bug bounty have been in practice for a long time now where the systems can be made attack proof. Such offers are mere temptations that enable companies to have bring hackers on board by luring them to hack the system and then secure the protocols at the cost of just a bounty reward that is equivalent to the size of peanuts for companies like Google which have a strong broad revenue base.
With the substantial rise in the number of smartphone users, Google has attempted to satisfy the need of every user by providing them with a vast array of applications on the Playstore. The company has been criticized for its lack of transparency and security moderation procedures involving the addition of apps on the Android platform. Many apps are fake and even inaccessible sometimes. Applications in Android require the acceptance of users regarding the app’s permission to access different sources of data like contacts, photos, camera, and other peripherals. There have been cases where apps were solely made for acquiring the personal information of users and after the unethical transfer of personal data, the apps were inaccessible or not working.
The recent launch of Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 has raised concerns regarding the security of data and how important it is to moderate the type of apps that enter the Playstore. This all started when a security-analyst company, Check Point, revealed that approximately 50 infected apps were allowed to become part of the Playstore which were downloaded nearly 4.2 million times before the malwares were diagnosed and finally removed. The digital age has elevated our dependence on mobile phones where sensitive data is stored and can be accessed by unauthorized users which is nerve-wracking.
Google has finally announced its partnership with HackerOne to allow hackers to find the flaws of the Playstore so that solutions can be made. The hackers upon successful identification of a loophole along with a solution will be rewarded with $1000.