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  • Android Security Issue Naively Puts Apple in Positive Light



    Last night, VentureBeat reported on the findings from mobile security firm Lookout that a suspicious Android mobile wallpaper app, which has been downloaded in excess of one millions times, has been found to collect and ship personal data off to a "mysterious site in China." As a result, there's a mood growing within the blogosphere of Apple fans that this sort of thing would be far less common in the Apple-family of iDevices and suggests further that the recent concerns about iPhone and iPad security glitches were vastly overblown.

    Not so fast.

    As highlighted by Lookout Chief Executive Officer John Hering and Chief Technology Officer Kevin MaHaffey, no smartphone, mobile platform or operating system is immune to the growing security threats in the world of smartphones. "That means that apps that seem good but are really stealing your personal information are a big risk at a time when mobile apps are exploding on smartphones," said Hering at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday. “Even good apps can be modified to turn bad after a lot of people download it,” MaHaffey added. “Users absolutely have to pay attention to what they download. And developers have to be responsible about the data that they collect and how they use it.”

    The app that caused all the trouble originated from "Jackeey Wallpaper," which was uploaded to the Android market for the ostensible purpose of enabling users to pretty-up their phones running the Google Android operating system. And it's not some cheesy app either. According to the VentureBeat report, the app delivered branded wallpapers from the likes of "My Little Pony" and "Star Wars." But the Lookout report found that this particular app "collects a user’s browsing history, text messages, your phone’s SIM card number, subscriber identification, and even your voice mail password. It sends the data to a web site that... is evidently owned by someone in Shenzhen, China."

    While even the staunchest Apple fans and critics should not wish for these security threats to manifest on any mobile platform, there is a sigh of relief (perhaps naively so) in the Apple community as a result of these findings, which hold that nearly half of all the Android apps analyzed used third party code, while less than one quarter of the studied iPhone apps did the same.

    Hering said in a press conference afterward that he believes both Google and Apple are on top of policing their app stores, particularly when there are known malware problems with apps. But it’s unclear what happens when apps behave as the wallpaper apps do, where it’s not clear why they are doing what they are doing.
    Lookout logged data from better than 100,000 free Android and iPhone apps for this particular project, one that aims to "analyze how apps behave."

    VentureBeat
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Android Security Issue Naively Puts Apple in Positive Light started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 56 Comments
    1. JonnyBoy123's Avatar
      JonnyBoy123 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shishir G View Post
      What your saying is being protective, Apple is being OVER protective because it denys the apps that other major companies are trying to release to make the iPhone even better, such as the Google chrome for mobile. It uses different hardware which runs faster than Apple's Safari so what do they do? They reject their app because their afraid google will beat them on Safari, which they obviously will.
      Apple rejects any app that just seems suspicious, a year ago i read about a app that was called "Hacking the phone" Which was a strategy game they rejected it because it sounded like the app was gonna hack their iphone. They later accepted it. They don't actually look at each app and see if it works, has bugs, viruses etc. That would take about 8 years for a app to get approved because Apple gets many app applications, They just have a computer that checks the files of the apps checks of there are viruses, any traces of malware etc. If not approved, if there is rejected. How do you think the tethering app got in? It was hidden, if they tested each and every app separately, it would take about 80 thousand employees just to test apps.
      I do have both Droid and iPhone 4, I use my droid alot because it has more features, and obviously has gone further than an iPhone where apple is just beginning such as the background wallpapers... Where other smartphone's have had those from beginning.
      Apple can be protective, every company is, but Apple goes beyond that.
      Dude Apple couldn't approve chrome for iPhone because of legal agreements with Safari! Apple didn't have a choice unless they wanted to be sued! The tethering app was hidden inside which will probly be pulled from the App Store soon for violating its terms. And if android is so much better, how come they dont have a malware check software for their apps? Like I told the other guy with the bad English, Jailbreak your iPhone if you are tired of the control! And what in the world is an Android fanboy doing in a forum all about Apple? I mean if u hate on the iPhone so much. why are u here?
    1. kuhndsn's Avatar
      kuhndsn -
      Quote Originally Posted by rocky5 View Post
      My, my, my you need to open yours eyes I for one are leaving the iPhone behind because am fed up with Apples I control what you do and what you use atitude.

      There is so much that Apple can learn from other platform, for one widgets for toggling data, wifi and other features would be amazing but Apple nup we want to to take the long way round.

      No matter what I say or any other person you will always get the tits that think the sun shines put of Apples *** and there devices are all singing all dancing master pieces.

      I have been playing with the HTC Desire and all I can say is I'm buying one, now I have been part of this Apple madness for over 3 years since the first ipot but no more I have seen the light and am bloody running at it.
      What language are you trying to type in? I hope that your new smartphone has a better built in dictionary. Sorry man but your grammar needs some serious help. :-). Have fun with your new device. See ya back here when the IPhone 5 comes out.
      ;-)

      Quote Originally Posted by Shishir G View Post
      I can say that right back at you. The security breach is Apple's fault. It's their device, they need to manage it along with ATT helping them. Android won't be dying anytime soon. Infact more users are switching from iPhone to Android just because Android doesn't reject EVERY ******* THING THAT COMES TO THEM. Such as Flash, Android supports it, why doesn't Apple? Apple wants to create their own damn world where they own everything. Android i think is a open source. Just because there was 1 flaw that Android let out doesn't mean its the worst phone ever. I can easily name some major problems iPhone's had. Androids haven't been out for a lot, but their still rising up and i suspect they may be higher than Apple one day since Apple refuses everything.

      Why do you think JB is legal now? Apple is being too over protective.
      Some good points. However your quotes are false. Android has a steady market with no major increase. It's hard to say which market (blackberry, mot, or htc) Apple gained customers in but acording to market movers and apple just cleaned house on the smartphone market. Surprisingly enough despite the death grip issue. In addition jb and unlock is not a sole APPLE thing my friends. As far as JB is concerned android is opensource so....
      Lastly, the recent rule on JB is a good thing.
    1. JonnyBoy123's Avatar
      JonnyBoy123 -
      Quote Originally Posted by kuhndsn View Post
      What language are you trying to type in? I hope that your new smartphone has a better built in dictionary. Sorry man but your grammar needs some serious help. :-). Have fun with your new device. See ya back here when the IPhone 5 comes out.
      ;-)
      Hahahahaha! That's what I told him! He's saying something about suns and dancing or something. He needs the Dictionary.com app and the new iOS 4 spell check!
    1. Daerid's Avatar
      Daerid -
      Oh, unhappy day for those that have downloaded that app.
    1. rocky5's Avatar
      rocky5 -
      Quote Originally Posted by JonnyBoy123 View Post
      Hahahahaha! That's what I told him! He's saying something about suns and dancing or something. He needs the Dictionary.com app and the new iOS 4 spell check!
      Actuay I come from the country that English originated from and if you were from here you would have got what I said, but I'm not here to bash languages or there different slang words.

      Also the only reason I purchased an iPot, IPhone 3G and an iPhone 3GS is because of JB'ing, so when Apple stop all JB's, where you going to go then.

      Also all thoughts widgets for toggling settings are built into android os, no need to modify the system, just so you can do basic tasks.
    1. Shishir G's Avatar
      Shishir G -
      Quote Originally Posted by kuhndsn View Post
      Some good points. However your quotes are false. Android has a steady market with no major increase. It's hard to say which market (blackberry, mot, or htc) Apple gained customers in but acording to market movers and apple just cleaned house on the smartphone market. Surprisingly enough despite the death grip issue. In addition jb and unlock is not a sole APPLE thing my friends. As far as JB is concerned android is opensource so....
      Lastly, the recent rule on JB is a good thing.
      I'm talking about the major increase since they started, They've gone pretty up and have already gotten big competitors Apple, RIM, etc. JB is called Rooting on the Android. The rule is great I never said It wasn't.


      Quote Originally Posted by JonnyBoy123 View Post
      Dude Apple couldn't approve chrome for iPhone because of legal agreements with Safari! Apple didn't have a choice unless they wanted to be sued! The tethering app was hidden inside which will probly be pulled from the App Store soon for violating its terms. And if android is so much better, how come they dont have a malware check software for their apps? Like I told the other guy with the bad English, Jailbreak your iPhone if you are tired of the control! And what in the world is an Android fanboy doing in a forum all about Apple? I mean if u hate on the iPhone so much. why are u here?
      Do you realize Safari is owned by Apple? Safari can't "sue" Apple because their the same company, just different sections. The tethering app was pulled from the app store not even an hour after the release, so it's already out of the app store. So your saying 1 thing (the malware check) makes iPhone's better than Android? Androids have been out for a shorter time than iPhones yet they're managing to catch up and even do somethings that Apple refuses to do. I'm not a "fanboy" of Android, I just believe it's a realy impressive Smartphone and will go further, nonetheless with iPhones, I love my iphone, but it just doesn't give me everything i need which my Android gives. The iOS 4 was the only update i liked, because it had folders, which i absolutely love. I can get on any forum I wish to and you can't do anything to stop me.

      Quote Originally Posted by JonnyBoy123 View Post
      Hahahahaha! That's what I told him! He's saying something about suns and dancing or something. He needs the Dictionary.com app and the new iOS 4 spell check!
      Do you realize that not everyone knows and speaks English?
      I think you should show this page to your parents: Ten Ways to Improve Your Child's Behavior

      You Sir, Need to grow up and stop thinking this is your world where what you want is there with a snap of a finger.
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Please steer clear of insulting other members. You will be infractioned.

      And we have members from all over the world that speak many different languages.
    1. Shishir G's Avatar
      Shishir G -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cer0 View Post
      Please steer clear of insulting other members. You will be infractioned.

      And we have members from all over the world that speak many different languages.
      If your talking to me, I've done nothing wrong. I'm staying on topic while Jonnyboy is insulting a member and i'm only defending him by saying there are more than just 1 language speaking people.
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      It was just a warning out loud for anyone thinking about it or doing it.

      And I agreed with the language barrier that is created with many, many members.
    1. eLuxury4viet's Avatar
      eLuxury4viet -
      Droid does hahaha so much for openess lmaol, i m using pc for 10 years, switch to mac and never look back, people hate iphone are the one that have no choice, they stuck with verizon or sprint because of their momy and daddy are with those. Beside notthing beat buy one get one free . Droid does again lol
    1. Tyronal's Avatar
      Tyronal -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shishir G View Post
      I can say that right back at you. The security breach is Apple's fault. It's their device, they need to manage it along with ATT helping them. Android won't be dying anytime soon. Infact more users are switching from iPhone to Android just because Android doesn't reject EVERY ******* THING THAT COMES TO THEM. Such as Flash, Android supports it, why doesn't Apple? Apple wants to create their own damn world where they own everything. Android i think is a open source. Just because there was 1 flaw that Android let out doesn't mean its the worst phone ever. I can easily name some major problems iPhone's had. Androids haven't been out for a lot, but their still rising up and i suspect they may be higher than Apple one day since Apple refuses everything.

      Why do you think JB is legal now? Apple is being too over protective.
      How to turn an android exploit story into an anti apple rant. Well done. With apple being so evil, why own anything they make? Or does it just give you a reason to jump onto apple forums and bash away. Not cool dude. Couple of points, Flash, um dude, it's rubbish and the biggest security threat for any computer platform. Don't have it on my Linux machine and don't miss the grief. Jailbreaking has never been illegal so how can it be "legal now"? It's only a breach of warranty agreement. Oh, and if you hate apple so much, don't buy their stuff dude. Geez, give us who don't hate apple as much as you a break, lighten up. Get something you like!
    1. dhamien's Avatar
      dhamien -
      You're naive if you think this isn't happening right now with iPhone apps. There's already been lawsuits, there's already been exposure of apps doing it. Even Steve Jobs complained about Flurry (I think it was) getting data that Apple was not aware of and using it to expose the coming launch of the iPad. These are examples that we know about, what about all the apps that haven't been discovered yet?
    1. Success.Is.Sweet's Avatar
      Success.Is.Sweet -
      Ah, the old Mac vs. PC threads have now turned into Android vs. iOS. Still the same idiocy on both sides as well.
    1. rruready's Avatar
      rruready -
      Quote Originally Posted by xwinger View Post
      That sucks for 1 million android users.
      And for all the jailbroken iphone users...smartass

      I have a simple fix for this since everyone is for pointing out problems not solutions, especially since this affects android and iphone (mainly jailbroken). This looks to be usable for both android and iphone
      Android Antivirus & Security - Lookout

      Whoops...nevermind. the iphone version isn't available yet.
    1. Shishir G's Avatar
      Shishir G -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tyronal View Post
      How to turn an android exploit story into an anti apple rant. Well done. With apple being so evil, why own anything they make? Or does it just give you a reason to jump onto apple forums and bash away. Not cool dude. Couple of points, Flash, um dude, it's rubbish and the biggest security threat for any computer platform. Don't have it on my Linux machine and don't miss the grief. Jailbreaking has never been illegal so how can it be "legal now"? It's only a breach of warranty agreement. Oh, and if you hate apple so much, don't buy their stuff dude. Geez, give us who don't hate apple as much as you a break, lighten up. Get something you like!
      I turned it around because that other kid jonny made me k? Apple isn't "evil" They make GREAT products! They are just being too over protective letting by us do nothing but what they command. Flash is run 90%+ of the computers in the world... It can be security risk, but there aren't any viruses currently for any iDevices, except a few that do nothing but pop up a picture...
      Jailbreaking has always been illegal, It was modifying a Apple device which they prohibited against, which is now legal, but it still voids our warranty. I don't "hate" Apple, infact i have every single one of their products They do make great products, i just say in my personal opinion that they are being too commanding and should open up a little and stop being over protective. I like Apple products, and I love my Android, is there a reason i can't like both?
    1. rruready's Avatar
      rruready -
      Quote Originally Posted by JonnyBoy123 View Post
      Android users need to just get an iPhone like the rest of the world and quit wasting time with a cheap knock off! Come on Android users! It's in the name! "Jack"eey wallpapers? The iPhone is a lot better then any Android phone out there because Apple rejects apps like this for the safety of their users. I seriously doubt that something like this would ever happen to thousands of iPhone users. That security breach on the iPad 3G doesn't count because it was AT&T's fault due to a network error which Apple had nothing to do with. Android needs to hurry up and die out already.
      You know as well as I do that Android is not going to "hurry up and die". Their antics with Antennagate and the whole situation of blaming the consumer for holding it wrong and pointing the finger at other manufacturers saying "theirs does it too" (like a 5 year old) is pushing some people away from Apple forever (like me). The only real competition these days is Android, which is what I'm now using on the Droid X (and before you say the typical "what is an Android fanboy doing on these forums anyway", I do still own my 3gs for jailbreaking and tinkering purposes. I think Apple makes a great product, but the company has some serious issues when it comes to PR and how to treat the customer. Also, you need to realize that people in the real world appreciate competition because even though they may not like the competitors product as much, it will push the other companies (Apple in this case) to continue improvement.

      Quote Originally Posted by JonnyBoy123 View Post
      Dude Apple couldn't approve chrome for iPhone because of legal agreements with Safari! Apple didn't have a choice unless they wanted to be sued! The tethering app was hidden inside which will probly be pulled from the App Store soon for violating its terms. And if android is so much better, how come they dont have a malware check software for their apps? Like I told the other guy with the bad English, Jailbreak your iPhone if you are tired of the control! And what in the world is an Android fanboy doing in a forum all about Apple? I mean if u hate on the iPhone so much. why are u here?
      I can't even begin to say how retarded I think this statement is considering that Apple owns Safari. As for the "how come they (Android) dont have a malware check..." - Here is one in case you didn't see the post earlier - Android Antivirus & Security - Lookout - You know what's funny is that now that I've been on both sides of the fence (Android/Apple), I can honestly say you will never know what you are talking about when you are bashing one or the other unless you have owned BOTH. Apple's closed system has it's draw backs and benefits, and Adroid's open source has the same. When you go off on moronic rants like yours, Jonnyboy (whether it's for Apple or Android), you just sound like an ignorant Fanboy....except Apple fanboys usually know that Safari can't sue Apple lol. You should spend less time spewing out ignorant theories and read a little.