Despite all the security breaches and malware scares we’ve had these past few months with the Android Market, Symantec, of Norton Antivirus fame, is still giving Android and iOS the advantage when compared to the security on desktop/notebook PC’s.
Symantec performed a mobile device security study and found that Apple and Google mobile OS’s are still more secure than Microsoft’s Windows at preventing “drive-by” app installs and malware often can’t obtain as many privileges as their desktop counterparts. Also, the fact that both mobile OS’s use signatures on their apps adds a layer of security you don’t normally see on PC’s.
Of course, Apple’s iOS still comes on top as being most secure with the rigorous screening of security threats for all their apps. Of course, we’ve all heard the complaints a lot of developers have regarding the flexibility of iOS apps and it’s one of the reasons many turn to Android. While, it would be very difficult to make malware apps that could compromise iOS, Symantec says it’s not impossible.
Now in regards to Android, Symantec is saying that the company’s deliberately looser app certification process, permissions for non-Market apps and vague permissions systems are all contributing to the OS’s rapidly growing malware problem. Device fragmentation is also adding to this problem. The majority of devices being released today are not running Android 2.3 which has patched up many of the exploits malware apps have been taking advantage of. Google’s business model for their Market hypothetically leads to more variety in apps but that has lead to vulnerabilities that could now require antivirus apps.
With the presence of so many viruses and malware, it’s one of the reasons I’ve actually switched to a Mac for my personal home computer and I’ve been considering an Asus Transformer instead of a cheap netbook for my little cousin. I’m over this virus/malware stuff and I don’t feel like its something I should have to worry about in a computer or mobile phone.
But what do you guys think? Can you see Android becoming the next haven for malware and viruses or do you have faith that Google will somehow be able to prevent malware from entering the Android Market? What do you think should be done (if anything)?