iOS safer than Android?

December 4, 2011

The advantages of open source are undisputed, but there's also something to be said for a closed system… It is less likely to be infiltrated by malware and other unscrupulous software.

#Apple #iOS #Android #Infosec

Attached Link:

Apple iOS is safer than Android, McAfee says
Apple's mobile OS is more secure than Android, but malware poses an increasing risk to all mobile devices and platforms, according to a new report from McAfee. Read this blog post by Lance Whitney on …

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7 Responses to iOS safer than Android?

  1. Brian Lindsay on December 4, 2011 at 1:19 am

    I would not say iOS is more secure by being closed. You can say there is less known malware, but that is not the same as actually being secure.

  2. David Ford on December 4, 2011 at 1:38 am

    +Brian Lindsay is quite accurate and correct

  3. Kevin Lynch on December 4, 2011 at 2:15 am

    +Kristopher Jordy … Closed source systems are less likely to be infiltrated? Tell that to Microsoft's Windows and Apple's Mac OS X developers. Both systems have way more active malware threats than any open source OS.

    Android's open source nature is not what makes it more vulnerable than iOS. And so far as I can see that's not what the article is trying to imply. It's Google's lack of vetting procedures for the Android Market. Apple tightly controls what apps do and do not make it into their app store. Just as major GNU/Linux distributions tightly control the applications and changes to applications in their repositories.

    Google broke this security model with Android. Which leaves consumers vulnerable to social engineering attacks. Like tainted free apps that look too good to pass up. GNU/Linux users are similarly warned using ppa's and other third party sources beyond the official repositories leaves them vulnerable to attack. And indeed this is also a common attack vector for Windows.

    Of course Apple hasn't been free of controversy with it's approach either. Apple charges a steep fee to developers in return for accepting their applications for "consideration" for the app store. Apple has also been accused of then incorporating ideas from third party applications into their iOS . Rendering such applications redundant. And leaving the developer out of pocket. Which has turned many developers towards HTML5 based applications in an attempt to circumvent Apple.

    It'll be interesting to see how long it takes for walware developers to circumvent the app store via that route.

  4. Douglas C. Hill on December 4, 2011 at 10:03 am

    +Brian Lindsay Great point that you are making about less known malware.

  5. Steven Nathaniel on December 4, 2011 at 11:09 am

    there is no software or network that can not be cracked. It is just the matter of time

  6. Kristopher Jordy on December 4, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Very true, that's it's possibly less-known malware. But my reference to closed systems included the app store which is very tightly controlled, limiting what software is available to be installed on their devices. (Unless you have a jailbroken iOS device) The possibility that someone could easily install a malicious app is lowered in this scenario.

    By having an open-source design and an open-app system, with no real monitoring or control over that software before it is installed by the unsuspecting users, the malware developers have the "double-whammy" of being able to more easily find weaknesses and holes in which to exploit, and nobody to stop them from providing their app.

    The tradeoff is, that by having an open-source design you have developers out there who can also find what the OS can do and create software that improves on the functionality, or find holes and security flaws and report them so they get fixed. As opposed to just developing apps based on an API the vendor created and limiting the functionality to what they want you to use.

    As they say, two heads are better than one. When the community has full access to the software to improve and enhance at will, you're likely to end up with a more robust and user friendly product over time. But with that the stronger possibility that someone will use it for malicious means exists.

  7. Kevin Lynch on December 4, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    +Kristopher Jordy I'm sorry but you're wrong on point about open source being a vulnerability. And I can't help but feel you're deliberately confusing "open-source" with an "open-market". They are not the same thing and you full well know that.

    It's true the apparent "free for all" in the Android Market leaves consumers vulnerable to malicious apps. However as you've pointed out yourself, a jail broken iPhone is just as vulnerable. Yet iOS is not an open source OS.

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