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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,725member


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

  • Reply 2 of 36
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member


    "Mixed nightmare" might be more accurate

  • Reply 3 of 36
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    FUD and whine, I see... He should open a diner...
  • Reply 4 of 36
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,406member

    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.

  • Reply 5 of 36
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,593member

    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?

  • Reply 6 of 36
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    LOL. "Frequent rooting of Android phones." And how.

    I beg to differ, rooting ones phone isnt as easy as jailbreaking in most cases.
  • Reply 7 of 36
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member

    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

  • Reply 8 of 36
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    iqatedo wrote: »
    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.

    drdoppio wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 9 of 36
    redgeminiparedgeminipa Posts: 480member


    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. 

  • Reply 10 of 36
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    sflocal wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member

    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.

  • Reply 12 of 36
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,818member


    EDIT

     

  • Reply 13 of 36
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,818member

    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.

  • Reply 14 of 36
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    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
  • Reply 15 of 36
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member

    Quote:

    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.

  • Reply 16 of 36
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 36
    crawdad62crawdad62 Posts: 94member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    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!
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    jragosta wrote: »

    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 <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt">Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt</a>. 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.
  • Reply 19 of 36
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,818member

    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?

  • Reply 20 of 36
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,521member


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

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