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GMIC: Tencent founder calls Android openness a 'mixed blessing'

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Tencent founder Pony Ma on Thursday called the openness of Google's Android mobile operating system a "mixed blessing," while noting that Apple's iPhone is more secure than Android.

Ma, whose company produces the popular Chinese IM service QQ, made the remarks during a keynote presentation and fireside chat at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing. While discussing the vital importance of security in the mobile internet age, he expressed a belief that the industry is on the verge of a "major security crisis."

However, when interviewer Wang Lifen asked what exactly the security risks were on her iPhone, Ma reassured her that Apple's platform is "more secure" than other ecosystems.

"With Apple, the App Store is strictly controlled, but on Android?you can download from various platforms," he said.

Though the executive did note that the iPhone is not "100 percent secure," he pointed to the fact that iOS software is all "manually tested" before being approved for the App Store as a relative strength over Android.


Tencent CEO Pony Ma speaking at the Global Mobile Internet Conference


Ma went on to call the open aspect of Android a "mixed blessing" because of the security challenges presented by the lack of strong management for the platform's many application stores. According to him, the frequent rooting of Android phones and the fact that the platform "doesn't have a lot of alerts" are other security-related disadvantages to Android.

In spite of his warnings of potential security issues, Ma described the current state of the mobile internet industry as a "Golden Age" with the proliferation of smartphones and 3G internet. "In the past [during the PC internet era], a person spent two to four hours online, but now we call it 'always online,'" he said.

The Tencent founder also highlighted a continued industry shift away from the Web and toward apps. ?In the future the app will be king, that?s the future of our industry,? Ma remarked.

Ma isn't alone in his characterization of iOS as more secure than Android. Last year, security firm Symantec published a report describing iOS as having "full protection" against malware attacks and Android as having "little protection." For its part, Google has taken steps to improve security on Android. In February, the company announced a new "Bouncer" malware detector layer to its official Android application store.
post #2 of 37

LOL. "Frequent rooting of Android phones." And how.

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post #3 of 37

"Mixed nightmare" might be more accurate

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post #4 of 37
FUD and whine, I see... He should open a diner...
post #5 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...he expressed a belief that the industry is on the verge of a "major security crisis."
 

Let's get something straight.  The mobile industry in not on the verge of a major security crisis.  The ANDROID ECOSYSTEM only is on the verge, if it hasn't already fallen off the cliff, of a major security crisis.

iOS had how many issues since 2007?? What... 3 or 4 issues?  Okay, maybe 5 but I'll give you 6.  It's an insult to Apple and iOS to even be mentioned in this article.

Oh, but wait for the android fanboys to have a hissy-fit when they read this.  They'll figure out a way to spin this using their childish "open", "root", "blah" reality distortion field to put Android in a good light.  Pffft.

post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Let's get something straight.  The mobile industry in not on the verge of a major security crisis.  The ANDROID ECOSYSTEM only is on the verge, if it hasn't already fallen off the cliff, of a major security crisis.

iOS had how many issues since 2007?? What... 3 or 4 issues?  Okay, maybe 5 but I'll give you 6.  It's an insult to Apple and iOS to even be mentioned in this article.

Oh, but wait for the android fanboys to have a hissy-fit when they read this.  They'll figure out a way to spin this using their childish "open", "root", "blah" reality distortion field to put Android in a good light.  Pffft.

 

Personally, I haven't had an iOS issue since my first iPhone, a 3G (which is still in daily use) nor a Mac OS issue since sometime in the late 1980s.

 

Incidentally, notice how CNN has been ready to jump on Apple lately at just about any opportunity?

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post #7 of 37
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Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

LOL. "Frequent rooting of Android phones." And how.

I beg to differ, rooting ones phone isnt as easy as jailbreaking in most cases.
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post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Let's get something straight.  The mobile industry in not on the verge of a major security crisis.  The ANDROID ECOSYSTEM only is on the verge, if it hasn't already fallen off the cliff, of a major security crisis.

iOS had how many issues since 2007?? What... 3 or 4 issues?  Okay, maybe 5 but I'll give you 6.  It's an insult to Apple and iOS to even be mentioned in this article.

Oh, but wait for the android fanboys to have a hissy-fit when they read this.  They'll figure out a way to spin this using their childish "open", "root", "blah" reality distortion field to put Android in a good light.  Pffft.

 

As far as I know there aren't any instances of malware which have spread significantly on iOS.  There may be malware that has afflicted iPhones which have been jailbroken but those are a minority.

 

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/08/24/apples_ios_unaffected_by_malware_as_android_exploits_surge_76.html

post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

Personally, I haven't had an iOS issue since my first iPhone, a 3G (which is still in daily use) nor a Mac OS issue since sometime in the late 1980s.

Incidentally, notice how CNN has been ready to jump on Apple lately at just about any opportunity?

It's not just CNN. The entire mainstream media is jumping all over Apple for stupid things. Look at how quickly they picked up on Daisey's lies. Then Consumer Reports' lies about NC. Then NYT's lies about taxes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

FUD and whine, I see... He should open a diner...

It's only FUD if it's false or distorted. What part of this report is FUD - and where is your evidence refuting it?
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post #10 of 37

It's pretty sad that you have to comb through the Android Market to find apps for things that should be part of the core OS... security apps, app killers... sounds like a boatload of fun! 

 

He forgot to mention Android's "openness" is primarily for OEMs and carriers... especially carriers, who love to force their bloatware that can't be removed without rooting. Kindle Fire - Android core, but no Android Market - without rooting it. Fun times we're living in. 

post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Let's get something straight.  The mobile industry in not on the verge of a major security crisis.  The ANDROID ECOSYSTEM only is on the verge, if it hasn't already fallen off the cliff, of a major security crisis.


iOS had how many issues since 2007?? What... 3 or 4 issues?  Okay, maybe 5 but I'll give you 6.  It's an insult to Apple and iOS to even be mentioned in this article.


Oh, but wait for the android fanboys to have a hissy-fit when they read this.  They'll figure out a way to spin this using their childish "open", "root", "blah" reality distortion field to put Android in a good light.  Pffft.

Arent jailbroken iPhones susceptible to security attacks? You might frown upon jailbreaking but its a big reason why the secondary market for iPhones is so hugh.
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post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Arent jailbroken iPhones susceptible to security attacks? You might frown upon jailbreaking but its a big reason why the secondary market for iPhones is so hugh.

iPhones that have been jailbroken are susceptible to malware; however, comparing a jailbroken iPhone to a stock installation of an Android-based smartphone isn't comparable since a minority of iPhone owners jailbreak while all Android-based smartphones are susceptible.

post #13 of 37

EDIT
 


Edited by Gatorguy - 5/10/12 at 6:10am
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post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

 

As far as I know there aren't any instances of malware which have spread significantly on iOS.  There may be malware that has afflicted iPhones which have been jailbroken but those are a minority.

 

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/08/24/apples_ios_unaffected_by_malware_as_android_exploits_surge_76.html


If you use the same definitions for malware that the security companies/researchers are using, there's a whole lot of iOS devices afflicted. According to most of the Android malware articles, it includes apps that harvest contact info or perhaps calendar events without specifically notifying the user. So yes, iOS devices can be "infested with malware" too using their definition.

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post #15 of 37
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Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

iPhones that have been jailbroken are susceptible to malware; however, comparing a jailbroken iPhone to a stock installation of an Android-based smartphone isn't comparable since a minority of iPhone owners jailbreak while all Android-based smartphones are susceptible.

I agree but some here act like there's no way iOS is susceptible to a security attack. There are millons of jailbroken iPhones out in the world
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post #16 of 37
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


If you use the same definitions for malware that the security companies/researchers are using, there's a whole lot of iOS devices afflicted. According to most of the Android malware articles, it includes apps that harvest contact info or perhaps calendar events without specifically notifying the user. So yes, iOS devices can be "infested with malware" too using their definition.

 

I am patiently awaiting any evidence supporting your position.  Please provide any evidence of malware afflicting iOS which doesn't require hardware access.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


I agree but some here act like there's no way iOS is susceptible to a security attack. There are millons of jailbroken iPhones out in the world

 

There is absolutely no comparison between a stock smartphone and a "jailbroken" smartphone.  If the smartphone has already been jailbroken then the person doing so knowingly accepted malware onto their smartphone.

post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

I am patiently awaiting any evidence supporting your position.  Please provide any evidence of malware afflicting iOS which doesn't require hardware access.


There is absolutely no comparison between a stock smartphone and a "jailbroken" smartphone.  If the smartphone has already been jailbroken then the person doing so knowingly accepted malware onto their smartphone.

Sure there is, anyone that hasnt changed their SSH password can get hacked into without any action on their part.
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post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

I beg to differ, rooting ones phone isnt as easy as jailbreaking in most cases.


Yeah it probably isn't as easy as jailbreaking but you'd never know it when all these Android users talk about how it's so great they can install custom ROMs all the time. It's their battle cry. Can't get a reasonable update from their carrier or manufacturer? Root it!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

I agree but some here act like there's no way iOS is susceptible to a security attack. There are millons of jailbroken iPhones out in the world

I would guess that a jailbroken iPhone is at a much greater security risk but Android is at a risk right from the start. You don't have to do anything and you can side load something nefarious.
post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


It's only FUD if it's false or distorted. What part of this report is FUD - and where is your evidence refuting it?

FUD is short for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. It does not have to be false. It is distorted in the sense that the most popular App sources for Google are malware free and rooting is neither as widespread nor as dangerous as often repeated.

The burden of proof is on those making the claims -- in this case it would be either Pony Ma or AI. By the way, jragosta, you frequently challenge me to provide evidence, yet you never provide any yourself and never follow up when I do. It's getting boring.
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

 

I am patiently awaiting any evidence supporting your position.  Please provide any evidence of malware afflicting iOS which doesn't require hardware access.

A number of the highest profile iOS apps would be considered to harbor malware if you use the same definition applied to iOS as the security companies use when referring to Android-based applications.

 

"Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, Foodspotting, Yelp, and Gowalla are among a smattering of iOS applications that have been sending the actual names, email addresses and/or phone numbers from your device’s internal address book to their servers, VentureBeat has learned. Several do so without first asking permission, and Instagram and Foursquare only added permissions prompts after the Path flare-up."

http://venturebeat.com/2012/02/14/iphone-address-book/

 

Apple certainly does curate apps in it's store, but either they overlook some big apps that break the developer rules or they just don't have the time to really check just what apps are doing and what they send home to remote 3rd party servers. In either case iOS users aren't as isolated from nefarious apps as they might expect they are. If taking contact data, calendar info and other private user data without express permission is considered one type of malware on Android, it's just the same for iOS isn't it?

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post #21 of 37

All I want to know is if Pony is any relation to Yo-Yo.

post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


FUD is short for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. It does not have to be false. It is distorted in the sense that the most popular App sources for Google are malware free and rooting is neither as widespread nor as dangerous as often repeated.
The burden of proof is on those making the claims -- in this case it would be either Pony Ma or AI. By the way, jragosta, you frequently challenge me to provide evidence, yet you never provide any yourself and never follow up when I do. It's getting boring.

 

 

Here are some of the offending apps that have infested the Android App Market aka Google Play with malware:

  • Falling Down
  • Super Guitar Solo
  • Super History Eraser
  • Photo Editor
  • Super Ringtone Maker
  • Super Sex Positions
  • Hot Sexy Videos
  • Chess
  • Hilton Sex Sound
  • Screaming Sexy Japanese Girls
  • Falling Ball Dodge
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Dice Roller
  • Advanced Currency Converter
  • App Uninstaller
  • Funny Paint
  • Spider Man
  • Spy Phone PRO+
  • 微笑的小工具
  • 應用程序貨架
  • 小兔子射氣球
  • 阿維亞拼圖
  • 山拼圖
  • 食品謎
  • NBA SQUADRE PUZZLE GAME
  • NFL Puzzle Game
  • 本機拼圖
  • 拼圖:紐約
  • Cricket World Cup and Teams
  • 怪物3D
  • 最佳設計的鞋子
  • 爆轉陀螺益智
  • 芭比好萊塢之謎
  • 芭比娃娃夢幻之謎

 

PDASpy app appears to have been downloaded more than 100,000 times. Collectively, the listed apps have been downloaded more millions of times.

 

 

Additionally, "NotCompatible" downloads automatically as soon as an Android user browses to a compromised website. according to Lookout.

 

post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

Here are some of the offending apps that have infested the Android App Market aka Google Play with malware:


[*] FUD material removed


Additionally, "NotCompatible" downloads automatically as soon as an Android user browses to a compromised website. according to Lookout.

 


I believe we are discussing the present time, not an isolated incident from over an year ago.
post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

 

Additionally, "NotCompatible" downloads automatically as soon as an Android user browses to a compromised website. according to Lookout.

 

 

It doesn't quite happen that way, 'NotCompatible' still needs the user's permission to install onto the phone (meaning anyone who gets infected is an idiot).  

post #25 of 37

The security thing is also distorted somewhat.  Let's say I'm a business user, and I have my Android phone securely locked down with passwords, and all the most restrictive options.  And I only use my business' software, don't download from the Play store (Lenovo has already created a more restrictive, business-only alternative to Google Play).  I'm not going to ever get a virus.  

 

Android is inherently just as secure as any iPhone, and much tougher to hack into.  But on Android, security is based on the user's own usage, it's up to them to keep their phone safe.  

post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


I believe we are discussing the present time, not an isolated incident from over an year ago.

No.  There isn't a defined time frame referenced in the article.  Furthermore, Google Android was and still is "Open" which is the primary argument for lack of security in the article.

 

I should also add that you should check your time frames these were reported last week.

post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeb85 View Post

 

Android is inherently just as secure as any iPhone, and much tougher to hack into.  But on Android, security is based on the user's own usage, it's up to them to keep their phone safe.  

 

Those two statements contradict each another.

post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeb85 View Post

 

It doesn't quite happen that way, 'NotCompatible' still needs the user's permission to install onto the phone (meaning anyone who gets infected is an idiot).  

I could have told you they were idiots without being infected.  They chose a vastly inferior product for a comparable price as the best product available.

post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

No.  There isn't a defined time frame referenced in the article.  Furthermore, Google Android was and still is "Open" which is the primary argument for lack of security in the article.

Google has taken a plethora of measures since to prevent such incidents from happening again. One was mentioned in this very AI article (Bouncer). If you choose to neglect the development, you're spreading FUD.
Quote:
I should also add that you should check your time frames these were reported last week.

The examples from your list are over a year old. It doesn't matter if you only heard it yesterday. Here's the link with your list from March 01, 2011:

http://www.androidpolice.com/2011/03/01/the-mother-of-all-android-malware-has-arrived-stolen-apps-released-to-the-market-that-root-your-phone-steal-your-data-and-open-backdoor/
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

I could have told you they were idiots without being infected.  They chose a vastly inferior product for a comparable price as the best product available.

There are many idiots who choose Android. There are many idiots who choose iOS. There's no casual connection, with idiots it's all random...
post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


Google has taken a plethora of measures since to prevent such incidents from happening again. One was mentioned in this very AI article (Bouncer). If you choose to neglect the development, you're spreading FUD.
The examples from your list are over a year old. It doesn't matter if you only heard it yesterday. Here's the link with your list from March 01, 2011:
http://www.androidpolice.com/2011/03/01/the-mother-of-all-android-malware-has-arrived-stolen-apps-released-to-the-market-that-root-your-phone-steal-your-data-and-open-backdoor/

 

No.  That list from March 01, 2011 doesn't include many of the apps listed.

post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

 

 

Here are some of the offending apps that have infested the Android App Market aka Google Play with malware:

  • Falling Down
  • Super Guitar Solo
  • Super History Eraser
  • Photo Editor
  • Super Ringtone Maker
  • Super Sex Positions
  • Hot Sexy Videos
  • Chess
  • Hilton Sex Sound
  • Screaming Sexy Japanese Girls
  • Falling Ball Dodge
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Dice Roller
  • Advanced Currency Converter
  • App Uninstaller
  • Funny Paint
  • Spider Man
  • Spy Phone PRO+
  • 微笑的小工具
  • 應用程序貨架
  • 小兔子射氣球
  • 阿維亞拼圖
  • 山拼圖
  • 食品謎
  • NBA SQUADRE PUZZLE GAME
  • NFL Puzzle Game
  • 本機拼圖
  • 拼圖:紐約
  • Cricket World Cup and Teams
  • 怪物3D
  • 最佳設計的鞋子
  • 爆轉陀螺益智
  • 芭比好萊塢之謎
  • 芭比娃娃夢幻之謎

 

PDASpy app appears to have been downloaded more than 100,000 times. Collectively, the listed apps have been downloaded more millions of times.

 

 

Additionally, "NotCompatible" downloads automatically as soon as an Android user browses to a compromised website. according to Lookout.

 


What did those apps do that qualified as malware?

 

Note that PDASpy isn't even a Google Play app as far as I can tell. It also apparently does just what it claims to do, which would hardly qualify it as malware in the strictest sense..

http://pdaspy.com

 

BTW, Google Play app downloads are reported to have exceeded 15 billion now. Malware in the official Play Store is but the tiniest of issues based on your numbers (at least so far!), and blown well out of proportion IMO


Edited by Gatorguy - 5/10/12 at 9:47am
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post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

No.  That list from March 01, 2011 doesn't include many of the apps listed.

Oh rly?

Like which ones? Are they still on Google Play?
post #34 of 37

"Man states the obvious" front page shocker headline.

Wow, what a scoop!

 

Looking forward to his revelations on how oranges are orange and taste like orange.

post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Let's get something straight.  The mobile industry in not on the verge of a major security crisis.  The ANDROID ECOSYSTEM only is on the verge, if it hasn't already fallen off the cliff, of a major security crisis.

iOS had how many issues since 2007?? What... 3 or 4 issues?  Okay, maybe 5 but I'll give you 6.  It's an insult to Apple and iOS to even be mentioned in this article.

Oh, but wait for the android fanboys to have a hissy-fit when they read this.  They'll figure out a way to spin this using their childish "open", "root", "blah" reality distortion field to put Android in a good light.  Pffft.

I'm not an Android fan at all, but this is still rhetoric. The guy isn't providing real information or details, just a fuzzy opinion. Anyway if they're for a corporate plan, they're most likely locked down to some degree. 

post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

 
Arent jailbroken iPhones susceptible to security attacks? You might frown upon jailbreaking but its a big reason why the secondary market for iPhones is so hugh.

 

iPhone Jailbreaking Could Crash Cellphone Towers, Apple Claims

 

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/07/jailbreak/

post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

 
I beg to differ, rooting ones phone isnt as easy as jailbreaking in most cases.

 

You may beg. I will allow it.

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