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Trend Micro Gives iPhone Security Edge Over Android

Open source approach considered a disadvantage

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Yesterday, Google announced that it would stop supporting the H.264 video codec in Chrome, and in the process, praised the concept of openness.  That approach isn’t always popular, however, and a Trend Micro exec cited it when stating that Android devices are less secure than the iPhone.

Trend Micro founder and chairman Steve Chang explained to Tim Culpan, "Android is open-source, which means the hacker can also understand the underlying architecture and source code.  We have to give credit to Apple, because they are very careful about it."

Chang later continued, "Apple has a sandbox concept that isolates the platform, which prevents certain viruses that want to replicate themselves or decompose and recompose to avoid virus scanners."

Google AndroidThose comments could make the iPhone look much more appealing to potential buyers, especially considering that they now have a choice when it comes to networks.

Of course, while no one’s questioning Trend Micro’s expertise in security, those comments may also represent a bit of salesmanship, considering that the company made its first Android app available for purchase late last week.

In any event, for the sake of mobile users, let’s hope hackers don’t have much luck with either Android or the iPhone.

Trend Micro Gives iPhone Security Edge Over Android
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  • http://web.me.com/mart_hill Martin Hill

    Android is far more insecure than iOS by design, though not necessarily because of its open source nature and is already suffering the fallout despite having half the installed base worldwide.

    The proof is in the pudding. It is Android and the Android Marketplace that has suffered multiple malware outbreaks such as:

    - More than 50 Android mobile banking apps in the Android Marketplace each targeted at a specific financial institution whose true purpose was phishing and identity theft.
    - A wallpaper app that was downloaded 4 million times which maliciously forwarded user details to a location in China before being discovered.
    - the Geinimi botnet app that is infecting numerous Android apps on Chinese app stores and spreading around the world.
    - Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a, the Russian “Movie player” app that surreptitiously sent premium SMS texts from unsuspecting users
    - Brand new HTC Magic phones infected with the Mariposa botnet and Conficker and a Lineage password-stealing Trojan that attempt to infect Windows PCs when connected over USB.
    - Mobile Spy and Mobile Stealth
    - SMS Message Spy Pro and SMS Message Spy Lite spyware apps
    - The 45,000 spamware apps clogging up the Android Marketplace (as noted by Appbrain)

    In contrast, despite hosting over a third of a million apps and 7 billion downloads, there have been Zero pieces of malware come through the iOS App Store. A 100% safety record. Not bad, and good reassurance for a public tired of virus-riddled PCs.

    Then of course there is the side-loading of apps with absolutely any nasty thing being possible in Android and no review of apps at all in the Marketplace and we are talking a completely different level of insecurity and exposure.

    iOS requires signed code and enforces strict sand-boxing and provides hardware encryption all of which Android lacks. Instead Android throws up a Vista-like screen of permissions for each app which the average user is not necessarily going to read or understand.
    All developers on the iOS store have far more stringent monetary and ID checks to post apps so the chances of mischief are so much less as to be negligible in comparison.

    ps. Of course if you jail-break your iPhone, all bets are off.

    -Mart

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