back to article Android is a BURNING 'hellstew' of malware, cackles Apple's Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook took a few minutes of his two-hour keynote at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday morning in San Francisco to stick his thumb in Android's eye. "Over 130 million customers who bought an iOS device in the past 12 months were buying their first Apple device," Cook told the 6,000 developers …

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That's what my boss used to shout

"Hell Stew, you've gone and done it again and messed things up". LOL

Then I hear I am Toxic.

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Re: That's what my boss used to shout

Many Android users have 4+ year old versions of the OS? I guess if you buy an Android you don't need a new phone every year. Imagine that.

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Re: That's what my boss used to shout

Well, Apple may want me to think I "need" a new phone every year, but the wife and I luckily have the good sense to know better.

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Re: That's what my boss used to shout

Yeah, I'm not using KitKat and I'm still happy with my experience until I really want to shell out the cash for a new device that can handle it. I have seen several friends & family in the last year switch from iOS to Android for exactly the same reason, "The iOS update made my iPhone4 crap!" Everyone has their reasons. Mine are simple: total cost of ownership and device lifespan.

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Re: That's what my boss used to shout

At least the update was offered, which is sadly not the case with many android handset manufacturers.

However, whether you should take the update offer is another story entirely.

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Re: That's what my boss used to shout

You can still buy a brand new (admittedly very cheap) android phone with Gingerbread. I was issued a Gingerbread phone about four years back and it was terrible - one of those slider things with the physical keyboard which kept slipping out and was pretty useless for my big thumbs. The battery life was dire too. I ended up buying the iPhone 4 out of my own hard earned cash and I'm still running that. It is struggling a little under iOS7 but still works pretty well. I've tried a few of the latest Android phones and like the Nexus 5 a lot but I have to say that the integration of iOS8 with OS X.10 is swinging things back in favour of iPhone. Whether I go full retard and buy the latest and greatest or just dial it back several notches and get a used 4S so I can get the features I'm after and keep my current set of peripherals is the big question.

The reality is that Android has indeed come on in leaps and bounds, and Google is pushing Apple hard and vice versa. If it is your money, spend it wisely. I'm a Mac user and I've enjoyed my iPhone 4 a lot more than any other mobile phone right back to the old Nokia 5110 I started with. I buy Apple gear because it works well for me and is by far the best value for money due to the lifespan of the hardware. My cash, my choice.

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It's the silly season again

Here we go again....

Trying to put your point across to an Android user is like trying to negotiate with a teenage Kevin.

They think they know it all but in fact know very little.

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Re: It's the silly season again

Whereas iPhone users are all paragons of unbiased, well informed, objective thinking.

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Re: That's what my boss used to shout

"Many Android users have 4+ year old versions of the OS? I guess if you buy an Android you don't need a new phone every year. Imagine that."

Just as well if you are left without support from manufacturers who don't give a shit once they have your money really isn't it. I mean, malware isn't their problem, so who cares, right?

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Of course it dominates the malware market

If a majority of devices have property X then what's the probability that a device with property Y also has property X? Or, rather, what doesn't a higher probability of X given Y imply?

I heard that more house fires occur at the homes of people with Windows PCs than occur at the homes of people with Apple computers. Just sayin'. Could be because the total amount of sunlight that falls on Windows users is so much greater? Etc, etc, etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Of course it dominates the malware market

You may want to look up what a percentage actually represents :)

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Re: Of course it dominates the malware market

Amusing that the person mocking based on the definition of percentage fails.

If 60% of all people who get malware on their phone have Android phones, and 75%+ of people who have a phone have an Android phone, then that would make iOS the leader of malware.

I'm making up the 60% number here of course, but if anyone has the real number, have at it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Of course it dominates the malware market

Wow. Logical twist with an injection of bullshit at its finest. Ah. Bullseyed. A real master bater when it comes to trolling...

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Mushroom

Re: Of course it dominates the malware market

And with more people using Android by far, its more worthwhile to find ways into Android than iOS. Its the old "PCs have viruses, Macs don't" nonsense. Its not because it can't be done to an Apple, but because not enough people care to do so.

If the majority of people had an iOS device, then the malware for those would come tumbling out of the woodwork.

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Nice try Cookie..

..but iOS and OSX has holes that you dont seem to want to patch thats even if you get around to admitting the problems

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice try Cookie..

..but iOS and OSX has holes

have holes, but we'll let that slide. Can you back that up with facts? Links? Evidence?

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Re: Nice try Cookie..

Good thing Android has no glaring issues or your argument wouldn't have legs...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice try Cookie..

A link like this?

http://news.yahoo.com/back-iphone-data-now-huge-ios-ransomware-scam-194129345.html

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Re: Nice try Cookie..

Yeah - no. That wasn't a security breach, that was some guy with a list of passwords.

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Re: Can you back that up with facts? Links? Evidence?

All non-trivial software solutions have holes. See The Halting Problem.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice try Cookie..

Hmmm, asking for evidence usually ends up with the person supplying it getting banned as a dev.

Apple - Affen bleiben Affen, wenn man sie auch in Sammet kleidet

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Re: Nice try Cookie..

An innocent bystander observes that it is self-evident that IOS and OSX have holes.

Unless I'm very much mistaken, they are both examples of software written by humans.

There is a small chance that just this once (or twice in this case), a vast collection of software which is collectively known as IOS and OSX is utterly free of defects which pose a security risk.

Even if it were true (and it's impossible to prove), it maybe wouldn't be true in 3 months after countless thousands of new commits...

I'm not bashing IOS and OSX of course. It's the nature of software.

It's why Cook made such a deal about the importance of security updates too.

So... self evident.

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Re: Nice try Cookie..

Not evidence, but maybe precident ...

"Opinions are like assholes, everybody's got one" -- Wilt Chaimberlain (1936-1999)

In this case, the assholes both make OS's, but the difference is minor.

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Re: Nice try Cookie..

No bugs here! They are just undocumented features... yes that is what they are!

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Stop

Really?

And what, exactly, is to prevent IOS from being a 'hellstew' of malware, should those with the inclination choose to put their minds to the task?

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Re: Really?

Apple's walled garden for one. A nasty app has to get past Apple, and if it does make it through Apple has the ability to remotely disable it from everyone's device if it is serious enough.

If someone makes a browser based exploit they have to get people to visit their site (same problem for Apple as for Android or Windows in that respect) but unlike Android, when Apple provides an iOS update to close the hole, it is quickly adopted by a large majority of iPhone owners.

Is Apple immune to malware? Of course not, only a foolish fanboy would even suggest such a thing. But it is a harder target than Android, and if attacked the lifetime of a serious exploit would be fairly short on iOS. On Android, the lifetime is measured in years, since there are many Android devices currently in use which will never see another update (if they have even seen one)

Sure, those with premium devices like a GS5 would see an update relatively quickly, but premium devices are a niche market on Android these days. The mass market is on the low end, and most of those devices never see a single update.

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Re: Really?

It's structure from the ground up, and entire design of the ecosystem from day one?

Seriously, you can keep trying this line on Mac users, but there's no "security through obscurity" on IOS, it's a massive and lucrative market for anyone able to get some malware working on the platform. The reason they haven't (but have been able to run riot on Android) is that iOS and the Appstore in particular makes this very, very difficult.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Really?

"should", "when", "if", etc. Yawn.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Really?

$15M taken from iOS users by ransomware and banking exploits in the last month shows that Apple are losing their war against malware. Most Apple users think they're invulnerable, but there are so many holes in iOS (have you seen the partticularly nasty bluetooth exploits yet?) that their phones are unusable (apart from sometimes making phonecalls when they can find a cell tower - their radios are very poor).

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Flame

Re: Really?

The reason they haven't (but have been able to run riot on Android)

can you back this up with some data? When has any Playstore App caused any riot (apart from twitter and facebook, but that's a different story) for any length of time?

Otherwise I would say you are spreading the usual FUD.

Oh, you can disable the app signature check and sideload unsafe apps? Big news. Every IOS Version up to now could be jailbroken. At some point of time there was even a jailbrake web page Jailbreakme , that unlocked IOS, using a drive by attack, exploiting various zero day vulnerabilities in Safari.

Not that I would say that IOS isn't generally safer than Android. But to keep it safe, they have to lock it down in a very aggressive manner, to the point where it gets unusable for some purposes.

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Re: Really?

I love watching the thumbs up/down scores swing around every time things Apple are commented on - I genuinely admire the fervour & passion people express on the subject.

I've been using Apple gear since System 6 & the venerable LCII, and have munched my way through much Apple kit since then. I've also seen many Applen of all description fall over from malware (uncommon as it was in the early days, it did exist) and have helped friends with rescue missions on more than one occasion.

I'm no techie, but I'm also no fanboi - Apple kit serves my needs, but like any hardware/software combo, it has strengths & weaknesses, and even Apples strict oversight & walled garden approach won't protect users from a focussed, concentrated attack if there's malicious motivation & ill-gotten gain to be realised from those with the expertise. Adding the still young cloud vector into the mix opens up even more opportunities. If someone can make it, you can pretty much guarantee someone else can break it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Really?

Proof. Have you heard of it?

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Re: Really?

but you're not allowed to leave the walled garden...

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/19/apple-imessage-failed-iphone-samsung

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jai
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Re: Really?

but you're not allowed to leave the walled garden...

Adam & Eve left their garden, and some would say it's been downhill for the human race ever since....

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AC Re: Really?

>(apart from sometimes making phonecalls when they can find a cell tower - their radios are very poor).

I seem to remember the AnandTech in depth reviews suggesting that the radios were in fact rather good.

I can only assume you are making your comment from the US - the phone network there is rather poor in general, hence the emphasis on "cells" rather than "network"

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Re: AC Really?

The Apple guy's argument doesn't make sense. We all know you can make your users more secure by locking down their ability to do things. Does not mean that is necessarily a good idea. I don't need a phone nanny thank you.

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Re: Really?

Leaving aside the fact that Adam and Eve are fantasy characters, it really all depends on whether you prefer freedom to make your own way and make your own mistakes, or live forever in a pretty garden and have everything done for you as long as you obey the rules.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Really?

I don't know, no longer being the disposable playthings of a sociopathic supreme being is surely a good thing even if comes with a downside or two.

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Re: Really?

A couple of things actually:

One is the more permissive policies. You can "side-load" apps, and while that has an upside (you don't need Google's approval for anything you install) some of these apps will contain "bad stuff", and unlike stuff from the official Google Play Store the isn't even retrospective policing from Google. Also software has more access to the device, the classic example is custom keyboards. Though Apple have a facility for this coming in iOS8, though without knowing more about it I cannot comment about the security implications.

Another problem is "customised" versions of Android. Here this means that devices never get updates (that contain security fixes) or get them very much later. It is this that lead to the quote. It is also true that OEM customisations are often of a far lower quality than Google's own Android base code, often leading to security flaws being introduced.

So if you do want an Android device there are things you can do to keep the device safer:

Don't side-load applications.

Choose either a locked down implementation (Kindle) or a Nexus device.

It would be nice to see some research on the malware situation for both (supported) Nexus devices and Kindle devices vs "other Android".

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Re: Really?

"It would be nice to see some research on the malware situation for both (supported) Nexus devices and Kindle devices vs "other Android"."

Agreed.

I'd like to know more about this supposedly malware in general. I'm an electrical engineer who runs an IS/IT related team for a Fortune 100 company... and I've never seen or heard of anyone actually getting malware on their phone.

The closest thing I'd consider to be malware are apps that demand access to too much of your data. With Apple that isn't an issue, because they already consume all of your data (not that Google doesn't either). Every once and a while you hear about beggar-ware taking money from people, on either Apple or Android. The dollars here are dwarfed by the cost of apps in the Apple store or the in-game microtransactions for games on either platform.

So really, what is in this nebulous malware category? That $10,000 app Apple had that made the background red?

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Happy

Re: Adam & Eve left their garden

And the origin of all of Adam and Eve's problems? An Apple.

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Re: Really?

>$15M taken from iOS users by ransomware and banking exploits in the last month

Link?

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Re: Really?

I'm certainly not foolish enough to think my iPhone or Macs are invulnerable to malware, and haven't been foolish enough since at least 1988, when the first malware serious enough to get media attention appeared -- ironically enough, on the Mac, iirc.

I've never been into silly-ass games, or any of that find-your-friends-and-tell-them-what-bar-you're-hanging-out-at bullshit. I have a grand total of 1 (count 'em) 1 third-party app on my 4S -- Twitter. That's it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Really?

Yes iPhones have bad radios. HERE is the proof.

Links from Apple Support. I only chose one of each for brevity. There were many more covering all models.

Cell

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/1617546?start=0&tstart=0

WiFi

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4328735?start=30&tstart=0

GPS

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2075209?start=0&tstart=0

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@Joe Harrison - "I don't need a phone nanny"

Maybe you don't, but a lot of people do, or prefer it that way. If you don't, you have have Android and even root it if you want maximum freedom. If you want an iPhone but don't like the walls, you can jailbreak.

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Happy

Re: Adam & Eve left their garden

> And the origin of all of Adam and Eve's problems? An Apple.

'Fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil' sounds more like a Google product to me.

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Re: Really?

@A.C. -"Proof. Have you heard of it?"

OK, Lazybones -

http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2011/10/03/mac-malware-history/

http://www.wired.com/2012/07/first-ios-malware-found/

Granted, the second link is the only officially recognised instance of IOS malware - the point is, it can be done, & this incident will most likely not be the last attempt.

As my old Math Teacher once graded me - "D+ - would do better if he applied himself."

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Re: Really?

You mean, making life-enhancing mistakes like installing some malware that sends premium SMS on your dime? The single experience everybody must have had to feel really, truly and utterly alive?

On this site, most readers think smartphones (computers) are interesting and worth tinkering with. But that is a minority standpoint. Most people want a cheap and reasonable phone, a big minority want to pay more and have a phone that some something extra.

And then there's the status. On this site tinkering with phones is status-enhancing, but that is also a minority view in the wide world. The minority buying iOS devices is a lot bigger. And willing to spend cash.

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Re: Really?

"I've never been into silly-ass games, or any of that find-your-friends-and-tell-them-what-bar-you're-hanging-out-at bullshit. I have a grand total of 1 (count 'em) 1 third-party app on my 4S -- Twitter. That's it."

you seem to have purchased the wrong kind of phone.

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Trollface

Re: Really?

Yeah, after eating an...Apple...

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