Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller doesn’t tweet much. In fact, his last one was more than 72 days ago. But today, he took to the social network to share a very important message: Android has a crap ton of malware.
Be safe out there: f-secure.com/static/doc/lab…
— Philip Schiller (@pschiller) March 7, 2013
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That number is up from 66% in 2011 and contributed to 96% of all malware in A4 alone. The share of Malware attributed to Apple’s iOS? 0.7%.
Apple’s iOS, of course, has always come under fire for being what people call a ‘closed’ system, where Apple approves every app individually. Android, on the other hand, has been praised for its permissiveness when it comes to apps published on its store. That permissiveness (which I can technically get behind, I like freedom of choice) comes at a hefty price when it comes to scammy and spammy apps on the system though.
The majority of super-popular apps on Google Play are free of malware and just as safe as their counterparts on iOS. But the looser held tenets of the store do leave more room for malicious apps to slip in. The store itself isn’t exactly a hive of malware (though it does appear with regularity), instead, the ability to side-load apps onto Android devices opens up an enormous vector for problem children to propagate.
The percentage numbers shared by F-Secure paint a grim picture, but the reality isn’t nearly that bad. While the percentages of mobile malware coming from Android are very high, the raw numbers are still low when compared to vulnerabilities reported on desktop and laptop computers.