Android more likely to get worms

Tim Grey
13 January, 2011
View more articles fromthe author

Your iPhone is far safer from hackers and nasty worms than their Android counterparts, with security software provider Trend Micro claiming that phones running the Google-designed OS were more vulnerable to attacks.

Trend Micro chairman Steve Change recently told Bloomberg Businessweek that because Android is open source hackers can more easily understand the underlying architecture and source code.

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

Google responded to Chang’s comments by pointing out that by using any computing device, users are obliged to entrust information to developers; “Android has taken steps to inform users of this trust relationship and to limit the amount of trust a user must grant to any given application developer.”

Apple, on the other hand, closely monitors developer contributions to the App Store, which, according to PC World, is an approach the Amazon Android App Store will be taking when it launches later in 2011.


3 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Martin Hill says:

    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.


  2. Xenophos says:

    Not surprised at all, really.

  3. Rob says:

    Although this report is not surprising, I think (unfortunately) that Android will become the dominant mobile OS – because of all the fanboys and people who rubbish Apple products.

    For the record, I am a PC person but have an iPhone and recently bought a Mac – both have been fantastic. Just wish people would know – sometimes the costlier choice is actually the better choice.

Leave a Comment

Please keep your comments friendly on the topic.

Contact us