Google Android more vulnerable to virus than Apple iOS

Wednesday, January 12, 2011, 13:09 by Tech Correspondent

Google’s Android operating system is more vulnerable to hackers and viruses than Apple iPhone platform, according to antivirus-maker Trend Micro.

Steve Chang, chairman of Trend Micro, says, “Android is open-source, which means the hacker can also understand the underlying architecture and source code.” He said that Android users will have to buy more security software for mobile devices.

This statement comes only a few days after we told you that Trojan Geinimi is attacking Android phones, stealing information and uploading it to remote servers. The trojan had been found on third-party Android application markets in China.

google android photo

Photo: Google Android

Google’s Android platform is an open-source platform and allows developers to access its code for writing software. Hence, it becomes more vulnerable to be attacked by a hacker. On the other hand, Apple’s operating system is not open. It’s every application requires Apple’s approval before being sold in the Apple online store.

“We have to give credit to Apple, because they are very careful about it. It’s impossible for certain types of viruses” to operate on the iPhone, Chang says. He further explains that Apple has a sandbox concept to isolate the platform, which prevents certain viruses that want to replicate themselves or decompose and recompose to avoid virus scanners. Also seeAnti-virus apps for smartphones

Mountain View, California-based Google said in an e-mailed statement, “On all computing devices, users necessarily entrust at least some of their information to the developer of the application they’re using. 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.”

Android has been embraced by large number of mobile phone and tablet manufacturers because it offers a greater amount of flexibility that comes from an open structure. At the same time, Apple has been criticized because of its non-flexibility and restricting the installation of non-verified apps. RelatedPaid Android apps in India

But it’s a known fact that open source has always been a prey to attackers, resulting into harmful activities. It becomes easy for the hackers to exploit the users or speed up patching. Carol Carpenter, general manager of Trend Micro consumer and small business said, “With the Android platforms rapid growth, cyber criminals will be rushing to take advantage of these mobile devices anyway they can.”

Trend Micro uses cloud-based security intelligence to help protect Android users from today’s threats in real-time. The company foresaw this danger and introduced a security app for the Google Android platform. This Trend Micro app focuses on protecting digital files and banking transactions over Android smartphones. Other features include download protection, call and text filtering as well as ‘safe surfing’ to help counter phishing efforts.

Trend Micro has also released Mobile Security software for Android. It’s a software that users can install onto their mobile phones to block viruses, malicious programs and unwanted calls. The company hopes that the $3.99 application will help it gain revenue from the more than 250 million phones that Gartner expects will run on Android by 2014.

Today, every other mobile manufacturer is coming up with a Android-based phone. According to Gartner, phones using Android accounted for 26 percent of the global smartphone market in the third quarter of 2010, ahead of Apple iOS, which had a 17 percent share. Gartner predicts that 259 million devices, or 29.6 percent of all smartphones, will use Android in 2014, trailing 30.2 percent share for Symbian and ahead of 15 percent share for iOS.

Smartphones are becoming cheaper by the day. The number of people using Android is increased drastically, and so is increasing their vulnerability to security attacks and viruses. We urge you to install a good security app/software on your Android smartphone soon, before it’s too late.

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