Apple owners have long touted the OS X operating system as infinitely safer than Windows and it appears this safety has extended to iOS. A new report by the Juniper Global Threat Center (JGTC) claims Android malware has increased nearly five-fold since July while iOS remains relatively untouched.
According to JGTC the amount of Android Malware increased by 472% from July to the middle of November of this year. Between the summer of 2009 and 2010 Android malware increased four-fold, but the Android malware increase since the middle of this summer seems plague like. September and August both saw about 10% increases, but both October and November have seen nearly 110% increases in the amount of Android malware.
The reason behind the explosion of Android malware? The Android Market Place and Anroid's increase in market share. JGTC blamed the Market Place's lack of a review process, the ease with which an anonymous developer account can be made, and the small $25 fee required to begin posting apps as the main reasons behind the surge in malware.
With no upfront review process, no one checking to see that your application does what it says, just the world’s largest majority of smartphone users skimming past your application’s description page with whatever description of the application the developer chooses to include. — JGTC
It appears Apple’s closed garden does have its advantages. Last summer McAfee found that Android had become the most targeted malware platform while iOS remained nearly untouched.
The old lack of market share argument used to explain the lack of malware attacking OSX doesn’t apply to iOS. Apple’s mobile operating system commands a massive slice of the mobile computing pie and while there have been a number of critical exploits found, they usually are stomped out by Apple with iOS updates relatively quickly.
And this might be iOS’s next best advantage over Android, Apple’s frequent and effortlessly distributed iOS updates. Being able to identify and stomp out exploits (good or bad, sigh) quickly and across all iOS devices makes the fragmented and haphazard update process of Android devices all that more obvious. I do wish iOS would be as “open” as Android, but maintained Apple’s approval process. But, I’ll take Apple’s walled garden and the Jailbreak community as a superior compromise.
Source: Juniper Global Threat Center [via iPhoneHacks]