Friday, January 14, 2011

Trend Micro thinks Android's open source makes it less secure than iOS; wrong!

Android eats apple
In an odd move that must surely raise concerns of lucidity, the Trend Micro chairman, Steve Chang, has claimed that the open-source nature of Android makes it easier to hack than iOS: "Android is open-source, which means the hacker can also understand the underlying architecture and source code."

News just in: the open-source-is-less-secure myth was dispelled more than a decade ago. Take a look at Linux, Apache, Firefox, or Chrome -- four huge open-source projects, and all many times more secure than their closed-source brethren (Windows, IIS, Internet Explorer). Open source projects are more secure than closed-source projects due to peer and code review, and vested interest! Trend Micro fails to appreciate that while maybe a handful of people have seen the iOS source, thousands have eyeballed Android's innards to look for bugs. Don't forget that Android is also based on Linux, which must be one of the most rigorously tested pieces of software ever made.

Later in the interview, Chang even goes on to mention the iOS sandbox "that isolates the platform"... which Android also has!

Anyway, Chang's ultimate point is that as smartphones become more intrinsic to our everyday life, their security becomes an ever-growing concern. Smartphones need to be treated as real computers, and locked down in the same way; either by the platform, or with third-party software. There will come a point, in the next few years, when smartphone OSes receive even more attention from malware authors than Windows -- we need to be ready.

[If you're looking for a good, free Android antivirus tool, checkout Lookout Mobile Security. Image credit: laihiu]

Download SquadTrend Micro thinks Android's open source makes it less secure than iOS; wrong! originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 13 Jan 2011 06:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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