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Mobile malware exploding, but only for Android

post #1 of 123
Thread Starter 
Malware targeting mobile devices is rapidly growing in both the number of variants found in the wild and in their complexity and sophistication, but the only platform being actively targeted is Google's Android, which researchers now say is resembling Windows on the desktop PC.

Android Malware Monopoly
Source: F-Secure Labs


Android's monopoly on malware



According to malware researchers at F-Secure Labs, the number of active mobile threat families and variants initially spiked in the winter quarter, with Android's share jumping from 49 out of 74 known threats to 96 out of 100, with the balance being related to Nokia's essentially mothballed Symbian platform.

That was enough to rouse a tweet from the rarely used account of Apple's head of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller, who linked to the report with the brief admonition "be safe out there."

However, F-Secure's new report for the latest quarter shows Android now accounts for 136 out of 149 known threats, or 91.3 percent of all malware activity (up from 79 percent in 2012).

The other threats remained related to Symbian, with zero discovered for Blackberry, Microsoft's Windows Mobile/Phone or Apple's iOS. The research noted that mobile threats are overwhelmingly motivated by profits, with 76.5 percent designed specifically to con users out of money, rather than seeking to just cause damage.

Android's malware reaches XP proportions



While researchers say the number of malware types is rising significantly, of greater concern is the rise of "highly specialized suppliers" who "provide commoditized malware services" that specifically target weaknesses in the Android platform, resulting in a situation where the "Android malware ecosystem is beginning to resemble to that which surrounds Windows.""The Android malware ecosystem is beginning to resemble to that which surrounds Windows."

Scammers single out Android users with cons that prompt them to update components like Adobe Flash, or direct them to services or job offers that request installation permissions from the user. Once granted, the malware installs code to either make a series of paid calls when the user is sleeping, or install SMS spyware designed to intercept the user's banking details over what appears to be a secure connection.

Those types of attacks are not possible on iOS, where Apple doesn't give third party developers the ability to ask users for obscure permissions or install the their own backdoors to read users' SMS messages. This foils the "commodity malware" business of creating exploit packages that can be sold, a market that is thriving on Android.

One example cited by F-Secure is "SmSilence,? malware discovered in Samsung's home country of South Korea that uses "the guise of 'coupons' for a popular coffeehouse chain," the firm explained. "If the so-called coupon app is installed, the malware will check if the phone number has a South Korean country code (+82). If the condition is met, SmSilence will harvest information from the device and forward the details to a server located in Hong Kong."

Unlike Apple, Samsung relies on Google and the open community to handle its software integration, leaving "open" the potential for such sophisticated attacks that take advantage of users using mechanisms often identical to those that have targeted Microsoft's desktop Windows platform.

Android's malware not limited to bad apps



Malware authors are also now increasingly targeting the many Android users who treat their device like a simple featurephone, the significant proportion of the Android installed base who never install apps.

Google stopped counting these users in its installed base statistics for developers (this enhanced version, below) in order to improve the appearance of Android fragmentation, but the majority still use very old versions of Android.


Android versions May 2013


Source: Google


As Sean Sullivan, Security Advisor at F-Secure Labs stated in the report, ?I?ll put it this way: Until now, I haven?t worried about my mother with her Android because she?s not into apps. Now I have reason to worry because with cases like Stels, Android malware is also being distributed via spam, and my mother checks her email from her phone.?

Stels, an Android trojan delivered via fake U.S. Internal Revenue Service-themed emails, uses "an Android crimeware kit to steal sensitive information from the device," and also makes calls to premium numbers. Sullivan said the new threat ?could be a game changer.?

Users on any mobile platform, including iOS, can be targeted with spam that directs them to malware websites. However, while previous exploits have been demonstrated to allow a visited website to crack the security on iOS to "jailbreak" the device, Apple has been vigilant about patching these flaws and distributing iOS updates that scuttle the profitability of discovered threats, effectively frustrating the malware business on iOS.

The majority of Android phones are never updated, so even if Google or its partners were made aware of an exploit and chose to address it with a patch, most Android users would never get the updates, leaving lots of fertile ground for scammers to harvest.Apple developed iOS with controls that specifically limit what installed apps can do and tightly regulate what personal information they can access.

This has opened up a booming business for Android malware that shares much in common with the desktop PC platform, a problem Microsoft worked desperately to fix over the past decade with increasingly sophisticated layers of malware filtering and blocking tools. Those tools, however, incur a performance hit and introduce new complications and inconveniences for users.

In contrast, Apple developed iOS with controls that specifically limit what installed apps can do and tightly regulate what personal information they can access.

These measures were initially greeted with contempt from many pundits who demanded a wide open platform that reintroduced all of the well known problems and vulnerabilities of the desktop computer into the new generation of mobile devices, but it has offered differentiated protection from malware for iOS users.
post #2 of 123

I'm not a fan of Android, but I hope nobody got hurt by this malware explosion!

post #3 of 123
I remember XP was so bad when there were "drive-bys" that seemed to infect your PC by visiting top websites with malware infected ads. I'd like to see how Google would block apps that serves malware infected ads.
post #4 of 123
News flash: Android is a malware, virus infested theme park. What a surprise.

But don't worry. If you listen to the know-it-all fandroids, they will just tell you that you should always research the app you want to install and verify that it's from a site you trust. No problem right??

Thanks, but no thanks. I'll let Apple do all that up-front work for me. I have better things to do with my time that to spend it in some fandroid-like basement researching the background of every app I want to install.

Kind of like why Android is the dominant mobile OS, yet iOS garners all the web traffic.

Android apps are a joke.
post #5 of 123
laugh out loud, it's deja vu all over again.
post #6 of 123

But Android is OPEN¡/s

post #7 of 123
Wow. Never saw this one coming......

/s
post #8 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

News flash: Android is a malware, virus infested theme park. What a surprise.

But don't worry. If you listen to the know-it-all fandroids, they will just tell you that you should always research the app you want to install and verify that it's from a site you trust. No problem right??

Thanks, but no thanks. I'll let Apple do all that up-front work for me. I have better things to do with my time that to spend it in some fandroid-like basement researching the background of every app I want to install.

Kind of like why Android is the dominant mobile OS, yet iOS garners all the web traffic.

Android apps are a joke.

Don't forget that Android is "open" but you should only install from Google Play?!?!?
post #9 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

News flash: Android is a malware, virus infested theme park. What a surprise.

But don't worry. If you listen to the know-it-all fandroids, they will just tell you that you should always research the app you want to install and verify that it's from a site you trust. No problem right??

Thanks, but no thanks. I'll let Apple do all that up-front work for me. I have better things to do with my time that to spend it in some fandroid-like basement researching the background of every app I want to install.

Android apps are a joke.

 

I'm with you on the second paragraph. You know when they say that Apple fans are elitist? To me the real elitists are those who call people stupid for getting malware or having problems with their Windows PC or Android phone (or whatever platform). They feel so superior when they get to fix their friends and family computing devices while making them feel ignorant.

 

The reality is that the majority of people have better things to do in life than to learn all the intricacies of computing and what is defined as a "trusted site".

post #10 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

But don't worry. If you listen to the know-it-all fandroids, they will just tell you that you should always research the app you want to install and verify that it's from a site you trust. No problem right??

 

While I agree... I am torn between laughing about these people's arguments, and being concerned about the amount of them running around with my contact details on their devices.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post

I remember XP was so bad when there were "drive-bys" that seemed to infect your PC by visiting top websites with malware infected ads. I'd like to see how Google would block apps that serves malware infected ads.

 

It was even worse than that. If you installed pre-SP1 XP on a computer with an unprotected Internet connection, you already could end up with an infected machine once the installation completed.

post #11 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by VL-Tone View Post

 

I'm with you on the second paragraph. You know when they say that Apple fans are elitist? To me the real elitists are those who call people stupid for getting malware or having problems with their Windows PC or Android phone (or whatever platform). They feel so superior when they get to fix their friends and family computing devices while making them feel ignorant.

 

The reality is that the majority of people have better things to do in life than to learn all the intricacies of computing and what is defined as a "trusted site".


Yes... I make a good side-living removing all the infestations on people's PC's, yet I have no ego to deal with.  In fact, I tell those people that if they want to stop paying me, buy a mac.  Guess which ones stopped calling me, and I don't mind.

Windows and (now) Android has built-in job security for those folks that have the need to feel superior to lesser mortals.

The ones that crack me up are the guys that do nothing but live in their parent's basement and tell everyone else how their rigs never get viruses or malware.  If I had nothing better to do than sit in front of a computer, my PC's would run pretty nice too.  Back in the late-90's, early 2000's when time was a little more abundant, I would occasionally have one PC on a standalone network exposed to the Internet and time how infected it would get.  I did that just for kicks and to practice removing the malware.  The machines I come across now that are so infected, people just acknowledge and accept it.  In an "appliance" like an Android phone, I shudder at the thought of some rogue app grabbing control or confidential info.  Lots of people don't associate the problems prevalent in a PC as being the same on an Android phone and that is what I find dangerous.

I think the iPhone gave non-iPhone users the false impression that all phones are safe.

post #12 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

 

While I agree... I am torn between laughing about these people's arguments, and being concerned about the amount of them running around with my contact details on their devices.


You know, I didn't really think about it until just now.  Occasionally, I get some funky spam from an account I know I use only for personal use that I pass to friends.  I don't use it for anything else.  It makes me wonder if their handsets with my contact info got compromised in some way...

post #13 of 123
The popularity of iOS and nearly 1 million unique apps across three distinct product lines and web usage stats compared to other mobile devices really blows the whole security through obscurity cant that the Windows camp claimed was the reason Macs never got viruses despite Macs having more viruses pre-Mac OS X.

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post #14 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


You know, I didn't really think about it until just now.  Occasionally, I get some funky spam from an account I know I use only for personal use that I pass to friends.  I don't use it for anything else.  It makes me wonder if their handsets with my contact info got compromised in some way...

 

Obligatory "Friends don't let friends use Android" message.

 

On a more serious note, you're exactly right. Using a malware-less (light?) system for yourself is no guarantee that your own information will stay safe with any of your friends or relatives devices.

post #15 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

News flash: Android is a malware, virus infested theme park. What a surprise.

But don't worry. If you listen to the know-it-all fandroids, they will just tell you that you should always research the app you want to install and verify that it's from a site you trust. No problem right??

Thanks, but no thanks. I'll let Apple do all that up-front work for me. I have better things to do with my time that to spend it in some fandroid-like basement researching the background of every app I want to install.

Kind of like why Android is the dominant mobile OS, yet iOS garners all the web traffic.

Android apps are a joke.

You act like one has to write a thesis on a app before installing it. No research needs to be done. Think of it like ebay, you search a item you want to buy and 2 sellers pop up, one with a high rating and another with few or none. Who are you going to buy from? You probably do the same exact thing in the app store. This data is really worthless without data on how many devices have gotten infected. More malware does not mean more infected devices.
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post #16 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


You act like one has to write a thesis on a app before installing it. No research needs to be done. Think of it like ebay, you search a item you want to buy and 2 sellers pop up, one with a high rating and another with few or none. Who are you going to buy from? You probably do the same exact thing in the app store. This data is really worthless without data on how many devices have gotten infected. More malware does not mean more infected devices.


Not thesis-level.  While apps on Google's Marketplace are (laughably) better, Android's ability to side-load apps not associated with any kind of verifiable rating system opens up a can of worms.

At least on iOS, I don't necessarily even have to look at the reviews, # of stars etc.  If I want to do an impulse download of a free app, there's little (if any) worry I will have that it's rogue.  I have Apple to delegate that authority to.

I just remembered the countless Android responses here and on other forums stating "Stupid users should know better than to download an app from an unknown site." and they honestly thought it was still the best way to do it because they hated Apple's walled-garden approach.  What's even funnier are the fandroids that proudly say "That's why I have anti-virus running on my phone!"... A/V??!!  Really??!!  On a phone??!!

Now Google is seriously considering a more curated approach too.  That still won't stop sideloaded rogue apps.

post #17 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post

It was even worse than that. If you installed pre-SP1 XP on a computer with an unprotected Internet connection, you already could end up with an infected machine once the installation completed.

 

Let's also not forget about the infamous Windows Messenger service, a spam magnet that MS inexplicably switched on by default for all versions of XP through SP2.  Several years ago, I was configuring a work computer with XP SP1, and less than half an hour after connecting to the internet (on a dial-up connection no less) the first spam message popped up.  And those pop ups kept coming until I looked up how to switch off the Messenger service.  Considering the ubiquity of spam spread by Windows Messenger, it was inexcusable for Microsoft to leave that service on by default until SP2. 

post #18 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


Not thesis-level.  While apps on Google's Marketplace are (laughably) better, Android's ability to side-load apps not associated with any kind of verifiable rating system opens up a can of worms.


At least on iOS, I don't necessarily even have to look at the reviews, # of stars etc.  If I want to do an impulse download of a free app, there's little (if any) worry I will have that it's rogue.  I have Apple to delegate that authority to.


I just remembered the countless Android responses here and on other forums stating "Stupid users should know better than to download an app from an unknown site." and they honestly thought it was still the best way to do it because they hated Apple's walled-garden approach.  What's even funnier are the fandroids that proudly say "That's why I have anti-virus running on my phone!"... A/V??!!  Really??!!  On a phone??!!


Now Google is seriously considering a more curated approach too.  That still won't stop sideloaded rogue apps.

Not entirely true. The apps I have sideloaded were recommended on XDA, and various other sites. Side loading by default is off and many devices do not allow the user to change it, and the vast majority of users don't even know how to do it or are unaware that they can. Very much like the app store most users don't go past the highly downloaded or recommended apps. I won't deny malware is a problem with Android but I think most users especially in the US have little to none to worry about.
Edited by dasanman69 - 5/14/13 at 5:23pm
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post #19 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woochifer View Post

Let's also not forget about the I Vista us Windows Messenger service, a spam magnet that MS inexplicably switched on by default for all versions of XP through SP2.  Several years ago, I was configuring a work computer with XP SP1, and less than half an hour after connecting to the internet (on a dial-up connection no less) the first spam message popped up.  And those pop ups kept coming until I looked up how to switch off the Messenger service.  Considering the ubiquity of spam spread by Windows Messenger, it was inexcusable for Microsoft to leave that service on by default until SP2. 

I loved and hated XP, it was the mother magnet of malware. My friend would get malware without ever visiting any questionable sites. Vista along with Chrome has all but eliminated malware.
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post #20 of 123

Oh for goodness' sake.

 

1) Newbies cannot accidentally sideload an app.  They have to first go find and purposely turn on "Load from unknown sources" and on some phones, also turn off "Disallow or warn before installation of apps that may cause harm."

 

2) Look at the list of threats.  Almost all affect a small, targeted group that sideload an app in China or India, etc.  They include sideloaded apps aimed at Tibetan human rights activists, and my favorite,  "A fake "job offer" Android app in India informs that the user is being considered for a position at TATA Group, an Indian multinational company. To arrange the interview, the app asks for a refundable security deposit."    

 

Sorry, but if you're that gullible, it doesn't matter if the "threat" came from an app or a website or an email.

 

3) Many of these "security firms" include, as potential threats, apps like log viewers which people download on purpose.  Anything to boost the numbers.

 

Security reports try to scare people into buying security software.  That's their primary purpose.

post #21 of 123
This all seems so familiar...

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #22 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcdevito View Post

I totally agree with your third point - they write this crap because they sell 3rd party security software for ANDROID - they're not allowed to write for iOS.

A scare tactic if I ever seen one. What I would like to know is what the hell is going on with Twitter? Accounts get hacked all the time.
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post #23 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


Not thesis-level.  While apps on Google's Marketplace are (laughably) better, Android's ability to side-load apps not associated with any kind of verifiable rating system opens up a can of worms.

At least on iOS, I don't necessarily even have to look at the reviews, # of stars etc.  If I want to do an impulse download of a free app, there's little (if any) worry I will have that it's rogue.  I have Apple to delegate that authority to.

I just remembered the countless Android responses here and on other forums stating "Stupid users should know better than to download an app from an unknown site." and they honestly thought it was still the best way to do it because they hated Apple's walled-garden approach.  What's even funnier are the fandroids that proudly say "That's why I have anti-virus running on my phone!"... A/V??!!  Really??!!  On a phone??!!

Now Google is seriously considering a more curated approach too.  That still won't stop sideloaded rogue apps.

 

You know, I've sometimes wondered why sideloading is considered unacceptable on smartphones and tablets when it has almost always been how one installs programs on laptops or desktops. Is installing a third party app inherently riskier on a mobile device? Or is the perceived danger of side-loading due to users tending to install more apps on their mobile devices, thereby exposing themselves more often?


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 5/14/13 at 6:18pm
post #24 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Oh for goodness' sake.

1) Newbies cannot accidentally sideload an app.  They have to first go find and purposely turn on "Load from unknown sources" and on some phones, also turn off "Disallow or warn before installation of apps that may cause harm."

2) Look at the list of threats.  Almost all affect a small, targeted group that sideload an app in China or India, etc.  They include sideloaded apps aimed at Tibetan human rights activists, and my favorite,  "A fake "job offer" Android app in India informs that the user is being considered for a position at TATA Group, an Indian multinational company. To arrange the interview, the app asks for a refundable security deposit."    

Sorry, but if you're that gullible, it doesn't matter if the "threat" came from an app or a website or an email.

3) Many of these "security firms" include, as potential threats, apps like log viewers which people download on purpose.  Anything to boost the numbers.

Security reports try to scare people into buying security software.  That's their primary purpose.

"Oh for goodness' sake" .... .?

No plural possessive required, even when leaping to the defense of anything Android.
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post #25 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

"Oh for goodness' sake" .... .?

No plural possessive required, even when leaping to the defense of anything Android.

 

It's not plural possessive.  It's singular.  "For the sake of goodness."  

 

In English, " 's " would not be added to a word that ends in "s" already, since the extra one would not be pronounced. ( You do not say "For goodness's sake")

 

http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/for+goodness'+sake

 

http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=978082

 

PS.  Not that I don't appreciate your attempt.  I actually believe that grammar police help everyone become more polished in their writing, which can carry over to doing better at work or school.  Just look at all the people around here who don't know the difference between "there" and "they're" and "their", or to use "its" for possessive instead of "it's" = "it is".  Cheers!


Edited by KDarling - 5/14/13 at 6:30pm
post #26 of 123

Sideloading enables those who know about it to do "cool things" that others can't do on their phone. 

 

Which leads to bragging and explaining to friends how to do it, who then show it to other friends etc.

 

At the end of the day, a lot of Android users end up side loading apps because someone told them to. And a lot of them don't have the knowledge to be able to discern what is a so-called "trusted source".

post #27 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

News flash: Android is a malware, virus infested theme park. What a surprise.

But don't worry. If you listen to the know-it-all fandroids, they will just tell you that you should always research the app you want to install and verify that it's from a site you trust. No problem right??

 

 

Then there's all the counterfeit malware designed to look like legit apps.  IIRC, a lot of those apps wound up on Google Play, where thousands of Android users would download and use the apps before Google can remove them.  Problem with "research" is that it inherently reacts after-the-fact -- after thousands of users have already downloaded the infected app.  Even now, Google relies on automated malware detection that some authors have already figured out how to circumvent.  The linked article describes a recent situation where malware authors not only circumvented Google's automated malware detection, but they also programmed the malware to automatically send positive feedback before triggering the exploit.  This in effect negates any safety through research. 

 

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/22/android_malware_badnews/

post #28 of 123

Yep... as predicted... Phanboys coming out of woodwork, and basements.

Keep telling yourself that only knowledgeable folks know how to sideload.  Keep telling yourself that "It's only in other countries, not the US", keep spinning it to deflect the subject and say "Oh look, a squirrel!!!".

Google contemplating getting into the walled-garden business just makes you guys - and your arguments - that much more sad.

post #29 of 123
IOS vs Android
Mac vs Windows apple wins both virus battles that is final.
post #30 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The popularity of iOS and nearly 1 million unique apps across three distinct product lines and web usage stats compared to other mobile devices really blows the whole security through obscurity cant that the Windows camp claimed was the reason Macs never got viruses despite Macs having more viruses pre-Mac OS X.

That was my, immediate, thought too.


Edited by IQatEdo - 5/14/13 at 7:32pm
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post #31 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Yep... as predicted... Phanboys coming out of woodwork, and basements.


Keep telling yourself that only knowledgeable folks know how to sideload.  Keep telling yourself that "It's only in other countries, not the US", keep spinning it to deflect the subject and say "Oh look, a squirrel!!!".


Google contemplating getting into the walled-garden business just makes you guys - and your arguments - that much more sad.

You have a point but it's also not "The sky is falling!!!!". No it's not good but it's also not as bad as it's made out to be. Fair enough? FYI had it been vice versa and the article stated a problem with iOS, I'd rather much believe actual users than a click bait fear provoking article.
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post #32 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Yep... as predicted... Phanboys coming out of woodwork, and basements.


Keep telling yourself that only knowledgeable folks know how to sideload.  Keep telling yourself that "It's only in other countries, not the US", keep spinning it to deflect the subject and say "Oh look, a squirrel!!!".


Google contemplating getting into the walled-garden business just makes you guys - and your arguments - that much more sad.

Walled gardens are only horrible when Apple does it. When Microsoft calls their walled garden Xbox, they can't get enough of it.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #33 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The popularity of iOS and nearly 1 million unique apps across three distinct product lines and web usage stats compared to other mobile devices really blows the whole security through obscurity cant that the Windows camp claimed was the reason Macs never got viruses despite Macs having more viruses pre-Mac OS X.

Or as Ballmer would say: "Security through rounding error."

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #34 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Walled gardens are only horrible when Apple does it. When Microsoft calls their walled garden Xbox, they can't get enough of it.

And remember when people threw a fit when Apple introduced their Mac App Store and options in Security Settings to allow all apps, MAS and Identified developer apps, or just MAS apps automatically, and very, very clearly stated that it would not disallow 3rd-part apps from being used and installed the way they have always been? Yet when Windows 8 RT which is a desktop OS did it only Mozilla has really raise their voice about it since they can't use their Gecko engine if they want to make a Firefox browser.

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post #35 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post

I remember XP was so bad when there were "drive-bys" that seemed to infect your PC by visiting top websites with malware infected ads. I'd like to see how Google would block apps that serves malware infected ads.

 

Yup. It's one of the reasons I switched. That, and the crashing. 1smile.gif

 

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #36 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Keep telling yourself that only knowledgeable folks know how to sideload.  Keep telling yourself that "It's only in other countries, not the US", keep spinning it to deflect the subject and say "Oh look, a squirrel!!!".

 

I believe proof by squirrel was used to back up one of the major theories in quantum physics. It's that sound. /s

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #37 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The popularity of iOS and nearly 1 million unique apps across three distinct product lines and web usage stats compared to other mobile devices really blows the whole security through obscurity cant that the Windows camp claimed was the reason Macs never got viruses despite Macs having more viruses pre-Mac OS X.

excellent point indeed.

post #38 of 123

of course it would be best to have some actual stats on how many Android units are in fact compromised.                                

post #39 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


Not thesis-level.  While apps on Google's Marketplace are (laughably) better, Android's ability to side-load apps not associated with any kind of verifiable rating system opens up a can of worms.

At least on iOS, I don't necessarily even have to look at the reviews, # of stars etc.  If I want to do an impulse download of a free app, there's little (if any) worry I will have that it's rogue.  I have Apple to delegate that authority to.

I just remembered the countless Android responses here and on other forums stating "Stupid users should know better than to download an app from an unknown site." and they honestly thought it was still the best way to do it because they hated Apple's walled-garden approach.  What's even funnier are the fandroids that proudly say "That's why I have anti-virus running on my phone!"... A/V??!!  Really??!!  On a phone??!!

Now Google is seriously considering a more curated approach too.  That still won't stop sideloaded rogue apps.

 

I have now been using Android for 5 years. And I have no malware on my phone. Yes, I check the permissions before installing, and if I find anything suspicious, I don't install the app. Not really all that difficult. I also side load a lot of apps, but only from trusted sources. eg. I side loaded Swype while it was being beta tested. I side load adaway now that Google has decided to be evil about it. Most of this "research" is conducted by snake oil security firms. And every once in a while, I download them, run their scans, find no malware and promptly delete them. Here are a couple of screen shots of recent scans.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3yprz32jjmywku2/Screenshot_2013-04-22-01-38-00.png
https://www.dropbox.com/s/uh07uhnpzff1ww7/Screenshot_2013-04-22-01-50-02.png

Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of real dangers. But it's really not that difficult to prevent getting a single malware on your phone. And as far as iOS apps are concerned. How do you know they are safe? The reason that malware is discovered on Android is precisely because the OS is open.

A while ago, the Camera+ app which used the Volume buttons for taking snaps was rejected from the AppStore *after* it was approved. How did it get the hidden feature through the approval process? It was discovered and rejected because it violated AppStore policies. How do you know how much malware has made through and not been discovered?

Charlie Miller snuck in a prototype malware program into the App Store. Apple did not discover it until he publicly announced it and got the app rejected. How do you know hoe much malware there really is floating around in the App Store?

Give me the choice of checking the permissions any day. I let Google's Bouncer do the grunt work, but still search myself. Likewise Apple may well be getting *most* of the malware out, but if something slips through, there is no second line of defense.

post #40 of 123
Wait, but why do all the Android apologist keep insisting that Android malware is an outdated "myth" that is only used as propaganda and that the OS is "no worse" in that regard than the other platforms?

Oh right, they're shamelessly lying, like everything else that they spout. The worst are the ones that proudly proclaim that they have an antivirus installed, and in the next breath they bash iOS for not having "the option" to install antivirus apps. Incredible.
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