Google's Eric Schmidt says Android is 'more secure' than iOS

Google's Eric Schmidt is grabbing some attention once again for what comes out of his mouth. He has a reputation for being able to do that, but unfortunately for him the attention is usually just people whipping their heads around in shock.

This time, it's the claim that Android has overall better security than the iPhone or iOS (in this case, interchangeable) does. He said this on stage at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo. David Willis, Gartner analyst, spoke to to Schmidt saying, "When you say Android, people say, wait a minute, Android is not secure." Schmidt cut him off right there with his claim, "Not secure? It's more secure than the iPhone."

According to numerous reports, people in the audience actually laughed at him for the remark. Even die-hard Android fans are often willing to admit that Android is less secure than the iOS. As the most popular mobile operating system in the world by market share, it's obviously the number one target of malware. Plus, the unwalled garden that is Google Play constantly allows threats into the store.

Schmidt also downplayed the concept of Android being fragmented, stating that "when you buy an Android phone the apps are compatible."

Ah, it's always great fun looking forward to what Google's former CEO might come out with next.

Source: The Verge | Image via Wired

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I don't see any of these threats and i regularly try and download things on my phone so....
I'm going to have to agree!!

Schmidt will almost certainly be richer than I ever will be, but every time he opens his mouth, he proves that it was sheer dumb luck.

Google survived in spite of him, and they need to get him off of their board ASAP.

Eric Schmidt is pretty much the most despicable human being on the planet and is the #1 reason why I refuse to use any Google product or service.

All that malware on Android disagrees with you. iOS is far more secure than Android and always will be. It's the nature of the beast; the fragmentation and overall open nature of the platform makes it ripe for an attack. If Google pushes a security update to plug a hole in the OS, the amount of devices that get fixed is minimal. As it all depends on the OEMs/Carriers being bothered to push the updates down to their myriad of devices, to which usually only their very latest models gets updated. When Apple does the same, all but the oldest devices get the update. I'm a big Android fan/user but sorry Eric, your talking *****!

Edited by Xerxes, Oct 9 2013, 12:05am :

MS said : Windows (and internet explorer) is more safe
Apple said : Apple products are cheap.
Google said : Android is more secure.
And MS, Apple and Google said that our information is safe.

So, what's the surprise?.

Where are the people who every time somebody from Apple or Microsoft says something negative about Google they get upset? Is there some rule that allows Google execs to say whatever they want but the execs from other companies are not allowed?

Here we go again!
Security on any system is easily defeated when people think it's safe to install applications labelled like "My hot photo"...

It has happened plenty of time that legit looking apps contained malware right in the play store.
And with so tremendous amounts of junk in the app store under the most questionable names.... how can you even know?

Spicoli said,
Read the reviews and look at the download count.

Hah, back when I had android, I did just that. And still every now and then I still had ads in my notifications, icons popping up on one of the home screens......
Don't think I am any worse at security than the average joe....

Eric Schmidt is just sprucing up his product, which is normal for a CEO. However, that doesn't mean what he said is true - it is probably far from the truth.

I think the bigger question is, if Apple didn't review app store additions like they did, would we see the same problems (I've never had them myself) Android has?

They're all about the same but OS level security will never protect you from installing software that does stuff you don't like. Desirable function has no technical different from undesirable function.

Looks like he's talking Schmidt again. I don't think Android is "unsecure" in the sense that your device will get hacked, but there is a much greater abundance of malware and information tracking/adware on Android than on any other mobile OS.

Secure is a bit of a lie. It is one of the few mobile ecosystems where malware either is or can be a problem. Also with lots of phones not being updated past 2.3.6 or 4.1.2 that also poses a security risk.

That was my thought as well. People are far more likely to receive updates for their iOS devices than Android. This alone might be a huge cause for the malware problem on Android.

Android is the far from the most secure OS, especially with all the malware apps that are floating out there! Please pardon the metaphor, but its like the Windows of the tablet OS world, in terms of malware/viruses!

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
Android is the far from the most secure OS, especially with all the malware apps that are floating out there! Please pardon the metaphor, but its like the Windows of the tablet OS world, in terms of malware/viruses!

Yah this guy is a joke I'm an educated user and I own an Android phone and I get a virus even without connecting it to the WIFI this OS is so broken.


On my iPhone I jail broke it and I installed a free app that lets me watch movies on the released day for FREEE! but for some reason now my wallpaper is now a live one with floating ads and I'm getting spam emails in my Gmail... oh wait I should switch to Outlook.


/s

Not the same thing because you cannot wallgarden a desktop OS or prevent fragmentation. Still Windows is the most secure OS because no other platform gets patches as soon as Windows.

Lone Wanderer Chicken said,
Android is the far from the most secure OS, especially with all the malware apps that are floating out there! Please pardon the metaphor, but its like the Windows of the tablet OS world, in terms of malware/viruses!

Android has many times more viruses than Windows does today. This is true even though there are thousands of times more applications for Windows than there are for Android.

Major_Plonquer said,

Android has many times more viruses than Windows does today. This is true even though there are thousands of times more applications for Windows than there are for Android.

Source please. Or did the Chinese government tell you this? They're not always trustworthy you know.

Enron said,
I wonder why this guy gets a pass and Steve Ballmer always gets slammed no matter what.

He's getting a pass alright that's why there's an article about the one line he said and most people are supporting him for what he said right. Makes sense.

The malware numbers and hoards of Android virus scanner apps and dongles would say otherwise....
Even Windows Phone, with a similar walled garden to iOS, is more secure than Android.

Instead of being ignorant and in denial, maybe he should do somebody about the problem...

Astra.Xtreme said,
The malware numbers and hoards of Android virus scanner apps and dongles would say otherwise....
Even Windows Phone, with a similar walled garden to iOS, is more secure than Android.

Instead of being ignorant and in denial, maybe he should do somebody about the problem...

Virus Scanners exist for iOS also, the reason Android has more of them is because you can install what ever bull**** you want to on your phone just by changing 1 setting, where as in an iPhone you have to actually Jailbreak and it and more often then not, non-tech savy users won't bother with such a risk.

So Eric Schmidt may not be right in saying that its "more" secure but I don't see how Android is any less secure than iOS is. We can argue both ways that there has been instances of Malware getting through both the Play Store and the App Store.

Sorry, but it's not possible to say Android is more secure.
There are countless articles that explain how bad the malware problems are, and it's pretty sad that it's continuing to get worse. The number of malware infections that have gotten through on iOS you can probably count on one hand. Android isn't even in the same dimension as the App Store. The reason why Apple doesn't want people to jailbreak, is because they work off of security exploits. It would be laughable if Apple were to decide to allow these security holes to exist. Personally I would rather have a pretty bulletproof OS rather than a "blinged out" UI eyesoar.

http://www.zdnet.com/android-m...-six-fold-in-q2-7000018483/
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/se...it-one-million-mark-in-2013

Astra.Xtreme said,
Sorry, but it's not possible to say Android is more secure.
There are countless articles that explain how bad the malware problems are, and it's pretty sad that it's continuing to get worse. The number of malware infections that have gotten through on iOS you can probably count on one hand. Android isn't even in the same dimension as the App Store. The reason why Apple doesn't want people to jailbreak, is because they work off of security exploits. It would be laughable if Apple were to decide to allow these security holes to exist. Personally I would rather have a pretty bulletproof OS rather than a "blinged out" UI eyesoar.

http://www.zdnet.com/android-m...-six-fold-in-q2-7000018483/
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/se...it-one-million-mark-in-2013

Yah I don't think its more secure but its not any less secure than any other os out there.... (except maybe Blackberry, WP or WebOS because I don't think any idiot would develop a virus for those platforms lol)

onionjuice said,

Yah I don't think its more secure but its not any less secure than any other os out there.... (except maybe Blackberry, WP or WebOS because I don't think any idiot would develop a virus for those platforms lol)

NEEDS MOAR SANDBOX!

onionjuice said,

Yah I don't think its more secure but its not any less secure than any other os out there.... (except maybe Blackberry, WP or WebOS because I don't think any idiot would develop a virus for those platforms lol)

Well if the extreme ease of rooting and hoards of malware doesn't mean it's less secure, then I guess I don't know what "secure" really means.

Astra.Xtreme said,

Well if the extreme ease of rooting and hoards of malware doesn't mean it's less secure, then I guess I don't know what "secure" really means.

??
The user wants to do it him/her self. Has nothing to do with the OS. You want it to be closed so you are tied to the Google Play Store? Some of us would like to install useful apps such as AdBlock on our phones. Unlike the iPhone I won't void my warranty by doing so.

Astra.Xtreme said,

Well if the extreme ease of rooting and hoards of malware doesn't mean it's less secure, then I guess I don't know what "secure" really means.


Do you apply the same logic to desktop OS's? Just because an OS allows you to install whatever you like--even malicious apps--doesn't meant it necessarily is less secure.

Android's biggest problem is that many manufacturers and carriers are too lazy/slow to upgrade the OS, not that you have the ability to sideload apps.

fobban said,

Do you apply the same logic to desktop OS's? Just because an OS allows you to install whatever you like--even malicious apps--doesn't meant it necessarily is less secure.

Android's biggest problem is that many manufacturers and carriers are too lazy/slow to upgrade the OS, not that you have the ability to sideload apps.

Desktop OSs are much different than Mobile OSs, so you can't make that comparison. Plus you neglected my main argument about the outbreak of malware on Android. That is a major security concern, and you can't possibly say otherwise.

Astra.Xtreme said,

Desktop OSs are much different than Mobile OSs, so you can't make that comparison. Plus you neglected my main argument about the outbreak of malware on Android. That is a major security concern, and you can't possibly say otherwise.

I don't understand why you need to separated the type of OS's. The mobile platform with the most number of malware is the least secure, but not the desktop OS? People have important data on their desktops too.

Malware getting onto the Play Store is certainly a problem, not so much that you can sideload whatever crap you want.

I don't understand why people want some kind of sealed North Korea in their pocket, but not on their desk.

fobban said,

I don't understand why you need to separated the type of OS's. The mobile platform with the most number of malware is the least secure, but not the desktop OS? People have important data on their desktops too.

Malware getting onto the Play Store is certainly a problem, not so much that you can sideload whatever crap you want.

I don't understand why people want some kind of sealed North Korea in their pocket, but not on their desk.

What are you talking about? All I said was that a PC OS works differently. You have the freedom of modifying any file you want and have root access to everything by default. It doesn't work that way on a mobile OS, so it's not even worth trying to compare them. Regardless, Windows has an epidemic of malware and viruses too, and it's always been that way. People know and accept that as a fact. We can make the same comparison of Windows to OS X. The threat of an infection is much higher on Windows, so guess what the conclusion is? Why would it make sense to be in denial about Android having the same problem?

Astra.Xtreme said,

What are you talking about? All I said was that a PC OS works differently. You have the freedom of modifying any file you want and have root access to everything by default. It doesn't work that way on a mobile OS, so it's not even worth trying to compare them. Regardless, Windows has an epidemic of malware and viruses too, and it's always been that way. People know and accept that as a fact. We can make the same comparison of Windows to OS X. The threat of an infection is much higher on Windows, so guess what the conclusion is? Why would it make sense to be in denial about Android having the same problem?

Using Windows 7-8 for the past 4 years with Windows Defender disabled / w/o any virus software. How come I didn't get a virus?

Your logic doesn't work. It's how you use the OS and what you download.... now if Android has a security leak that lets the hacker take control of your device... well that's an issue not "oh you have the possibility of downloading malware from unknown sources"

onionjuice said,

Using Windows 7-8 for the past 4 years with Windows Defender disabled / w/o any virus software. How come I didn't get a virus?

Your logic doesn't work. It's how you use the OS and what you download.... now if Android has a security leak that lets the hacker take control of your device... well that's an issue not "oh you have the possibility of downloading malware from unknown sources"

Nobody is saying that everybody will get infected... Stop making things up in attempt to build your defense...
The risk of infection is directly proportional to how secure it is. End of story...
As a made-up example, if 10% of Android users get infected and 5% of WP users get infected, how could you possibly say that Android is as secure as WP? This is basic statistics and logic...

Astra.Xtreme said,

Nobody is saying that everybody will get infected... Stop making things up in attempt to build your defense...
The risk of infection is directly proportional to how secure it is. End of story...
As a made-up example, if 10% of Android users get infected and 5% of WP users get infected, how could you possibly say that Android is as secure as WP? This is basic statistics and logic...

There is no such thing as "risk of infection" if you don't download anything or download only from the Play Store or download from a well known developer. End of story.

No one cares how many people got infected it's their own fault for downloading the crap that they shouldn't have.

O guys it's Android's fault that I'm stupid enough to download an app that says "Free $20 when you install this app"

I don't see any logic in that reasoning of yours and also you can't compare Android vs WP EVER, because they are in two different proportions.

I take it then due to your reasoning here you believe in the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads from Apple. Well guys Mac is more secure than Windows because there aren't as many viruses out for Mac. EVEN THOUGH Windows updates more frequently and has built in virus protection to stop most attacks.

Hmm.. Or more like "Hi buy a MAC because even if you're stupid it will be hard for you to install a Virus."
I don't think an educated user would buy into that..... people should know not to install pirated/software from random sites.

Edited by onionjuice, Oct 10 2013, 12:59pm :

onionjuice said,

There is no such thing as "risk of infection" if you don't download anything or download only from the Play Store or download from a well known developer. End of story.

No one cares how many people got infected it's their own fault for downloading the crap that they shouldn't have.

O guys it's Android's fault that I'm stupid enough to download an app that says "Free $20 when you install this app"

I don't see any logic in that reasoning of yours and also you can't compare Android vs WP EVER, because they are in two different proportions.

I take it then due to your reasoning here you believe in the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads from Apple. Well guys Mac is more secure than Windows because there aren't as many viruses out for Mac. EVEN THOUGH Windows updates more frequently and has built in virus protection to stop most attacks.

Hmm.. Or more like "Hi buy a MAC because even if you're stupid it will be hard for you to install a Virus."
I don't think an educated user would buy into that..... people should know not to install pirated/software from random sites.

You really are naive if you think that's the only way to get infected on a PC or on a mobile device... You don't seem to have the slightest idea on what security even means. This discussion is obviously going nowhere since you're stooping down to childish levels with your wrongful accusations. Nice job...

Astra.Xtreme said,

You really are naive if you think that's the only way to get infected on a PC or on a mobile device... You don't seem to have the slightest idea on what security even means. This discussion is obviously going nowhere since you're stooping down to childish levels with your wrongful accusations. Nice job...

You're right this discussion is going nowhere with your immature personal attacks. And you're talking about a whole new thing here when you mean OS Vulnerabilities vs Apps

iOS has its fair share of bugs / flaws and so does Android if you want to say Android is less secure then post the list of all the vulnerabilities that Android has and iOS has.

and if you're talking about fragmentation and old users left out of the blue without security updates *cough* WP7 *cough*.

Think I've proved my point.

Tartarus said,
It's the most secure OS if you don't install anything stupid on it.

Ever notice how the Android enthusiast community looks down its nose at people who don't use custom firmware while also saying it's secure as long as you don't side load anything while also saying it's well designed and easy to use?

Tartarus said,
It's the most secure OS if you don't install anything stupid on it.

I doubt it's more secure than Windows Phone.

Tartarus said,
It's the most secure OS if you don't install anything stupid on it.

and as long as you buy a new phone every 6 months in order to get the latest security updates!

/facepalm

how can anybody think of android as a secure OS when there is constantly 90% of the devices in the hands of end users running outdated versions without the latest security updates?

the situation isn't perfect on windows phone, but almost every phone can benefit from the latest minor updates or wp7 or wp8, except on some mobile operators. That's much better than android.

and on the tablet side, the situation is even better, since Microsoft publishes security updates without the approval of OEMs, and do so during 5 years of free support. As opposite to less than 6months for most android tablets.

A new phone very six months? /facepalm
http://www.google.com/nexus/4/

"I doubt it's more secure than Windows Phone."

Yeah that's because WP doesn't have any apps.

"Fixed"

There are tones of good legit open source apps. I'm so sorry you have to use your brain to use an OS.

"Ever notice how the Android enthusiast community looks down its nose at people who don't use custom firmware while also saying it's secure as long as you don't side load anything while also saying it's well designed and easy to use?"

You don't HAVE to root. Just like you don't HAVE to jailbreak. Rooting/jailbreaking is best left to tech savvy people like us.

Tartarus said,
tech savvy people like us.

So tech savvy yet you don't know how to multi-quote! Are you typing on an Android device?

ZipZapRap said,

So tech savvy yet you don't know how to multi-quote! Are you typing on an Android device?

No. I was sort of in a rush.

Tartarus said,
A new phone very six months? /facepalm
http://www.google.com/nexus/4/

I have a Nexus S, and it is stuck on Android 4.1.
no more updates.

I have a HD7 that I bought the same year, and while it doesn't run wp8, it will still receive support until 2014.

there is no known security flaw in wp7, whereas there are known and unpatched flaws in android 4.1.

that sucks. And the worst part, is that compared to other android devices, this is considered as a "great" level of support.


"I doubt it's more secure than Windows Phone."

Yeah that's because WP doesn't have any apps.

WP has a lot of great apps. Of course you can't know that, you don't use WP.

but the biggest fail in your comment is that it doesn't make any sense.

you're basically saying that android has more flaws because there are more apps. How can you possibly consider that apps are responsible for flaws in the platform?

Joshie said,

Ever notice how the Android enthusiast community looks down its nose at people who don't use custom firmware while also saying it's secure as long as you don't side load anything while also saying it's well designed and easy to use?

No! I see them saying don't install anything you are not sure about and definitely don't sidelaod anything that is not from a trusted reputable source. Doing so is only at your own risk. You know the same argument on why Windows is filled with spyware, malware, crapware etc.

rfirth said,

I doubt it's more secure than Windows Phone.


Why? Haha, you can't just go making these comments without saying why.

Why is Android as an operating system probably less secure than Windows Phone as an operating system?

I think Schmidt was commenting on Android itself, Android the OS. Not Android including the Play Store and the state of non-Play Store apps.

Tartarus said,
Rooting/jailbreaking is best left to tech savvy people like us.

Real tech savvy (like IT peeps) use the most advanced 64-bit smartphone out there. Oh snap, that is not Android! LOL!

DarkNet said,

No! I see them saying don't install anything you are not sure about and definitely don't sidelaod anything that is not from a trusted reputable source. Doing so is only at your own risk. You know the same argument on why Windows is filled with spyware, malware, crapware etc.

Android "enthusiasts" are the ones that load custom firmware, then they show off their devices and the features they get from custom firmware to regular people who don't know half what they know. These regular people then go and try to load custom firmware and end up messing up their phones either by bricking them or with malware.

Any time that I talk to an Android user, I hear the word custom firmware. Why do they have to be so quick to point out that they dont think Google is good at making software and that they use custom software?

MidTxWRX said,

Android "enthusiasts" are the ones that load custom firmware, then they show off their devices and the features they get from custom firmware to regular people who don't know half what they know. These regular people then go and try to load custom firmware and end up messing up their phones either by bricking them or with malware.

Any time that I talk to an Android user, I hear the word custom firmware. Why do they have to be so quick to point out that they dont think Google is good at making software and that they use custom software?


I am an Android enthusiast, I own Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Droid Maxx, Nexus 7 and I will be buying the Nexus 5 and possibly the Nexus 10 (depending on if I like what I see with the iPad announcement).

None of my Android devices have custom firmware or are rooted.

I used to root and load custom firmware but ever since ICS, their is no reason for that. I am a tinkerer but don't need to do that anymore on my Android devices.

MidTxWRX said,

Android "enthusiasts" are the ones that load custom firmware, then they show off their devices and the features they get from custom firmware to regular people who don't know half what they know. These regular people then go and try to load custom firmware and end up messing up their phones either by bricking them or with malware.

Any time that I talk to an Android user, I hear the word custom firmware. Why do they have to be so quick to point out that they dont think Google is good at making software and that they use custom software?


The Android community is hurt by including the portion of the open source enthusiast community that panics whenever code starts to achieve legitimacy.

Find something hacked together and attached to a forum post? INSTALL IT NAO.

Cyanogenmod slaps an Inc. after their name? SHUT. DOWN. EVERYTHING.

Joshie said,

The Android community is hurt by including the portion of the open source enthusiast community that panics whenever code starts to achieve legitimacy.

Find something hacked together and attached to a forum post? INSTALL IT NAO.

Cyanogenmod slaps an Inc. after their name? SHUT. DOWN. EVERYTHING.

News to me that they are hurting.

DarkNet said,

News to me that they are hurting.


With reading comprehension skills like that, I imagine an awful lot would feel like news to you.

Joshie said,

With reading comprehension skills like that, I imagine an awful lot would feel like news to you.

Resorting to insults I see to compensate for no proof. Don't play your kids game with me. Either shut up or produce. Stop acting like a brat. You have nothing of value to offer on anything. Stick to your Microsoft stories where you clearly favor and stop spreading FUD here.

ObiWanToby said,
Eric Schmidt is weird.
He has the look of someone who does weird things. We've all met someone like him during our lives. Smart like no other, but always seems to make you say, "WTF?"

ObiWanToby said,
Eric Schmidt is weird.

And not as entertaining as Balmer. Maybe MS and Google should merge with Robin Williams as the CEO.