With the battle between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android beginning to mimic the Mac vs. PC battle of the nineties, the same old debates are beginning to arise.
The main argument that gets thrown about currently is that Apple’s iPhone is much more secure than any smartphone running Google’s mobile operating system, and to an extent, that is true.
Apple’s insistence on every app for iOS going through their testing procedures before being made available has meant that malware has, thus far, been almost eradicated. There have been a few instances of apps being accepted that perhaps should not have been, but given the huge number of apps on Apple’s App Store, the system has largely been a success.
Contrast that with the Android approach of allowed anyone to make an app available for download, not to mention the ability to side-load apps – being able to install apps from a web page or memory card completely bypasses the Android Market. Google’s system has come in for some criticism given the apparent ease with which a user can inadvertently install malware on their device.
Now an acclaimed security expert has waded in to the debate, and he suggests that while Apple is currently the safest bet, that will not be the case forever.
Renowned cryptographer and security researcher Bruce Schneier believes that as more and more of our lives are run through our smartphones, the little computers will become increasingly attractive targets for those who wish to steal our data.
I believe that smart phones are going to become the primary platform of attack for cybercriminals in the coming years. As the phones become more integrated into people’s lives they’re simply going to become the most valuable device for criminals to go after.
While Google is currently the one battling security concerns due to its Market policy, Schneier believes that Apple is not home free with regards to locking up our data due to the fact they have no control over what goes on outside its own ecosystem. There is a big, scary internet out there, full of people wanting to steal your personal data.
I don’t believe the iPhone will be more secure because of Apple’s rigid policies for the app store.
It is a stark warning for Apple – while things may be ticking over nicely thanks to the company’s tight controls over the App Store, they will continue to make Mobile Safari and webkit as secure as possible in order to keep their position as the most secure mobile platform out of the two big guns.
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