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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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  • This is total FUD because every time you install an Android app it tells you EXACTLY what permissions you are giving it.

    I’d rather have an Open market where one knows what an app is doing and what it is not, than a closed-off Apple one where god only knows what the app is doing.

    Just because Apple says the app is OK does not mean it is not collecting your contact info and sending it to the cloud. That kind of thing is fine with Apple, apps do it all the time. At least with Android the phone TELLS you that is going to be going on, so you can approve or deny it.

  • Owning both iPhone and android I have the pleasure of knowing both worlds. Yes apple is more secure, less risk, and nearly all apps are flawless due to the heavy approval process. I also agree android is less safe due to open source capabilities and lack of stricked approval. Android allows more “risky” fun and functionality such as normal market apps to download mp3s straight to your phone that are not app bound, videos too, games such as roms and emulators (gba, snes, Sega, ect.) What’s nice is the android market tells you a detailed list of what exactly your agreeing to when you download the app such as how much control your allowing it to have, and what parts of your phone, wiether it will use internet or not and so on. So that being said, common sense goes a long way.

    I have come across a couple apps that apple would shut down due to poor craftsmanship such as glitches and force closures so that’s a down side, but all these “risky” apps are very fun, and offer so much freedom over the standard unjailbroken iPhone. IPhone you can be care free and download everything and anything. Android you will do well just have a quick peak at the what the agreement terms are for privecy as every app is different, then based on your level of common sense you decide if you want it

    One more note: if my phone gets hacked, that’s ok because I never use or hold critical information with it such as bank info, credit card purchases, ect
    I don’t care if your phone is apple, Google, or NASA I just think its a bad idea to put sensitive info in other places outside of your own head 😉

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