Jun 172011

I just made up a maxim about online security firms. How do you know a computer security expert that is offering advice is pimping his own products? His lips are moving. While the majority of PC security alarmists are correct that people need to lock up the silverware when they announce the latest catastrophic Windows or Flash vulnerability, they’ve been a little more “cry” than “wolf” when it comes to pronouncements about the insecurity of Apple’s platforms. Case in point: Kaspersky’s CTO Nikolay Grebennikov, who thinks Apple needs to open up iOS to allow the “security pros” to handle locking down threats that are coming any day now.

“The Android platform, which is growing its market share, is much more open than the Apple iOS and it’s easier to create new applications for Android, including security software”. Ah yes. The beauty of “open”. Want to know why security software is required for Android? It’s a platform that allows average users to approve an app’s access to processes on their shartphone about which they don’t have a clue. It’s a platform that doesn’t vet apps submitted to its market, allows apps downloaded from shadow markets to be sideloaded onto its devices, and relies on the hobbyist community to report malware to Google for apps in their own Market. But please, Nikolay, continue…

“Apple is the only protector of its iPhone and iPad users but they don’t know the real situation with threats. It’s not possible to create the products they create, and be a world leader in security too; that expertise is elsewhere.” That’s why Apple has an actual approval process to get an app in their App Store, doesn’t allow apps to be sideloaded onto their devices and sandboxes its apps’ access to system resources. You say “closed”; I say “secure”.

I know it sucks to be relegated to the business equivalent of fogging up the glass of the App Store from the outside, licking your chops at the billions in potential revenue you’re missing out on because iOS doesn’t need your voodoo. But if you check down a couple of doors and go to the Android storefront, you’ll find they’ve had 3 instances of malware in their Market in the last month alone. I’m sure you two have plenty to talk about.

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