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Report: iOS Much More Secure Than Android

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This week, Trend Micro chairman Steve Chang said in an interview that the Google Android operating system was much more open to attack than Apple’s iOS.

The reason for Android’s security flaws reportedly comes from Google’s decision to allow open-sourcing and the very light approval process for Android apps. These decisions allow malicious coders to gather user information in order to create and launch malware.

On the alternative, Apple made a decision to close off iOS, control the user experience, and make the app approval process detailed, long, and at times, annoying. However, Apple’s decision reportedly leads to a more secure operating system environment.

“We have to give credit to Apple, because they are very careful about it. It’s impossible for certain types of viruses” to operate on the iPhone

“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.”

However, this is not to say that Apple’s iOS is invulnerable. According to the report, iOS is mostly vulnerable to social attacks where users are tricked into compromising the security of an iOS device. For example, iOS security issues mostly come from users who unknowingly visit malicious websites that take advantage of a firmware exploit.

Part of the allure of the Android OS is the amount of flexibility that comes from its open system. An advantage of this is that with an open platform, the speed in patching exploits can be faster than the speed of finding the system vulnerabilities in the first place. However the trade off is the large potential for malware and viruses.

We all know of the criticisms Apple faces with its restrictive iOS platform, especially that of not allowing non-App Store installs. But because of this, malware concerns are almost non-existent with iOS, unless you have a jailbroken device, which even then, the malware issues are still relatively non-existent.

[Businessweek]

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