It wasn't long after Google announced its long-anticipated mobile plans this week that a debate emerged about the prospective security of the project's Linux-based platform. Can the open-source model for the platform, now known as Android, produce secure code? Will phones based on Android, dubbed "Gphones" by many, be more or less secure than Apple's iPhone, which has been developed using proprietary software? What will Android's developers be able to do to stop authors of malicious code from capitalizing on its openness?
Security vendor McAfee, which produces proprietary security software for mobile devices, has been quick to defend open-source practices for developing mobile code. McAfee is a member of the Linux Mobile (LiMo) Foundation, a group of companies formed to develop an open mobile-device software platform. Many of the companies in the LiMo Foundation have also become members of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), which Google has formed to develop and promote Android. Jan Volzke, global marketing manager for McAfee Mobile Security, said that Linux is not new to the mobile arena and maintained that secure coding practices can successfully be built into the Android development process.
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