Apple trolls Android users on security, tells them to "be safe out there"

Back in January, we reported that the number of malicious Android apps in circulation is predicted to grow to one million this year, as malware continues to grow explosively on the platform. In 2011, just one thousand such apps had been detected, but this figure had skyrocketed to 350,000 by the end of last year. 

Unlike with more closed ecosystems such as iOS and Windows Phone, the onus is upon Android users themselves to take control of the security of their devices, and the fact that so many less experienced users even understand the implications of downloading malicious software on their handsets is a big problem for the platform. 

So perhaps it's not surprising that Apple's Phil Schiller, the company's senior vice-president of Worldwide Marketing, decided to remind users to take stock of their device security with a tweet, in which he simply stated "Be safe out there", along with a link to a Mobile Threat Report from security specialists F-Secure. 

 

 

 

 

What's significant, here is that the report highlights that of 300 major mobile threats last year, 79% affected Android, while just 0.7% had an impact on iOS. The report also underlines that iOS is one of the safest and most secure mobile ecosystems available - although BlackBerry was noted as the most secure platform overall. 

Of course, Schiller didn't mention Android specifically in his tweet, but by linking to a report that so extensively highlights the prevalence of malware on Android, and the superiority of iOS in that respect, it's impossible to see this as anything but a shot across Android's bow. 

Source: Twitter / F-Secure Mobile Threat Report | via SlashGear 
Image via F-Secure

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28 Comments

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Exynos said,
Oh nooooooeees, Windows have malwares to, what should we DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO?

Windows Phone and Windows RT don't!

@sballmer: you too.

coming soon to iOS pages on apple.com: iPhone doesn't get mobile phone viruses where they jump through hoops to say that mobile phones meaning anything but iPhone.

I gave him a nice answer

"We will, wanna pic of that (without a huge purple smear on the photo) or would you like a map (which doesn't send you elsewhere)?"

so it's times like this when Android and iOS argue and Windows Phone users just sit down and enjoy the show....because we're the 3% and we're insignificant

Ridiculous.

No doubt iOS has less malware it's a freaking prison ! And on top of that the issue is not android but the user that's either gullible, uneducated about technology or just plain stupid !

A lot of people are experienced users but still use an AntiVirus program, myself included. Doesn't mean I am stupid.

Apple have just done it the other way around where they check the program before it can be used by users. Android doesn't have that layer of security so I can easily see why your more vulnerable.

This tweet is nothing more than business, regardless people are going to throw their dummy out the pram now and rant about it. More so with Neowin posting a title like it has.

xplatinum said,
Ridiculous.

No doubt iOS has less malware it's a freaking prison ! And on top of that the issue is not android but the user that's either gullible, uneducated about technology or just plain stupid !


What an ignorant comment... Holy crap, I need to sit down!

Prison? If it's a prison with 700,000+ quality apps and next to ZERO malware, I'll take it pal!

And BTW, it actually IS Android that's largely at fault... In that OS, you have the wholesale "take it or leave it" approach to accepting an app's policies for security. There is NO WAY to disable certain access rights and still be allowed to download / use the app. On iOS, I can specify to block access to certain components on my iDevice and yet continue to use the app.

This is what makes most people just accept the app terms and download it, because they "want it" and don't have the choice of rejecting certain illicit behaviours the app will exhibit.

-=MagMan=- said,

What an ignorant comment... Holy crap, I need to sit down!

Prison? If it's a prison with 700,000+ quality apps and next to ZERO malware, I'll take it pal!

Do you really think iOS has 700,000+ QUALITY apps? I don't think so.

There are great apps to be found, as long as you want to do any of the things that Apple has deemed acceptable and as long as you want to do them the exact way Apple wants you to do them. Otherwise you're out of luck.

My argument isn't that Android is better or worse. Only that there are trade-offs to be made with both approaches. On Android the user becomes responsible for security but they have greater choice over how they interact with their device. On iOS security is laregely taken care of for you but your options are more limited.

We shouldn't pretend, or lose sight of the fact that iOS is limiting, nor that Android is only as secure as you are careful.

SK said,
A lot of people are experienced users but still use an AntiVirus program, myself included. Doesn't mean I am stupid.

How did you get the impression that I was calling you stupid ? I never mentionned anti-viruses. They are either gullible, stupid or uneducated if they manage to get infected on a mobile store. I think they are the same group of people who carelessly and blindly click Yes on every prompt they see.

And for the record I wasn't talking about protecting yourself from the internet in general. As you were with your anti-virus point. The internet is alot more dangerous than any reputable mobile store on the web. Please compare oranges with oranges please.

SK said,
]Apple have just done it the other way around where they check the program before it can be used by users. Android doesn't have that layer of security so I can easily see why your more vulnerable.

So that Apple checks the program before it can be used... c'mon ! we all know Apple is very strict over what gets on the store and I ain't talking about security risks.

-=MagMan=- said,
Prison? If it's a prison with 700,000+ quality apps and next to ZERO malware, I'll take it pal!

First, judging by your Avatar I am in no way surprised that you aren't agreeing with me. So I won't waste more time replying to you. Just re-read my answer to ]SK[.

I don't have AntiVirus software on my phone because like the OP said, only the uneducated and stupid are in danger.

Read this yesterday..more mud slinging aimed at paranoid users and uninformed users.


and the fact that so many less experienced users even understand the implications of downloading malicious software on their handsets is a big problem for the platform.

And less experienced users will download Apps from the Google store, not random stores. Issue with less experienced users is clicking on email links or random links. But thats the same issue in iOS, Windows, and linux as well.

Android allows software installation from third party locations and applications submitted to the Play Store are not reviewed. I published a test application immediately.

Those two things alone are more than likely what account for a lot of Android's malware. A user could click on a link in an e-mail in Android that installs a rogue app; that wouldn't be possible in iOS without exploiting some kind of vulnerability in the OS.

And yes, I know that by default Android doesn't allow installation of apps from outside of the Play Store, but it's very easy to turn that off.

It don't matter if Android users get their apps from Google Play, malware has often gotten on to that store. In the beginning Google didn't even bother checking uploaded apps at all, they just allowed anything. Now they check apps but not as thoroughly as Windows Phone or iOS stores, you still get stories of malware on Google Play.

Hardcore Til I Die said,
I know that by default Android doesn't allow installation of apps from outside of the Play Store, but it's very easy to turn that off.

Except it's a relatively hidden setting, there's not that many reasons to do so, and less experienced users would never touch it.

Kirkburn said,

Except it's a relatively hidden setting, there's not that many reasons to do so, and less experienced users would never touch it.

Unless something told them to...

"If you want this super duper cool screen saver, just follow these EASY steps: Go to options > yadda yadda ..."

Hardcore Til I Die said,
Android allows software installation from third party locations and applications submitted to the Play Store are not reviewed. I published a test application immediately.

Those two things alone are more than likely what account for a lot of Android's malware. A user could click on a link in an e-mail in Android that installs a rogue app; that wouldn't be possible in iOS without exploiting some kind of vulnerability in the OS.

And yes, I know that by default Android doesn't allow installation of apps from outside of the Play Store, but it's very easy to turn that off.


Haha, not only that, there have been numerous accounts of malware through apps that where deployed in the play store.....

But people keep ensisting your save on android when using just the app store. (HINT HINT YOUR NOT)


Yea it's not hidden. Within 2 hours of owning my new Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 I had to download flash from Adobe then my device handily asked if I wanted to allow it to install apps from outside of the play store.

On my wifes Coby running Kyros Android again it asked me if I wished to allow the app to install. This is NOT a hidden setting AT ALL.

techbeck said
And less experienced users will download Apps from the Google store, not random stores.
The problem I find with Google is that they don't screen their apps before they go into the store. Apple screens all their apps and block the ones that contain malicious code. I personally don't believe in having to worry about security on a smartphone.

Hardcore Til I Die said,

Unless something told them to...

"If you want this super duper cool screen saver, just follow these EASY steps: Go to options > yadda yadda ..."

And when you uncheck it, it warns your of the potential security issue.

m-p{3} said,

And when you uncheck it, it warns your of the potential security issue.

It does indeed. I wonder how many people would actually heed that warning and not disable the option if it was stopping them from installing something they wanted though. Not many I'll bet.