Study by Symantec says both iOS and Android more secure than your PC

Study by Symantec says both iOS and Android more secure than your PC
Security software purveyor Symantec has just released a study that compares the security measures on both iOS and Android. First, the good news is that both mobile operating systems are more well-guarded against security breaches than your home computer is. When it comes to determining which of the two mobile OS has better security, things are less than clear.

First of, the study does note that iOS is more secure than Android in protecting against your everyday, run of the mill malware. Considering the attention that Apple places on every app that submits an application for inclusion in the App Store, that is not surprising. After all, iOS is NOT an open system like Android is. The problem for iOS users here is that if  they jailbreak their device, the high wall that protects an iOS device  is gone and the malware will infest iOS the same as it would an Android device. Because Android is an open source system, the protection against malware must come from the developers who must be sure that they are not downloading an infection.

In the report, Symantec concludes that iOS is best at "resisting malware attacks, resource abuse/service attacks, data loss and data integrity attacks." Android is better than iOS in specific security features. Symantec says that Google's open source OS is better than iOS when it comes to isolating processes, but is behind on "access control, application provenance and encryption."

Where Android really has an advantage is in the number of vulnerable points which Symantec says numbers 200 on iOS versus just 18 on Android. And of that 18, only 4 remain unpatched by Google. The latter also beats Apple when it comes to the speed of patching an 'opening', taking just 8 days to come up with a solution versus 12 days for the Cupertino based firm.

Symantec's conclusion is that even with the weaknesses seen in both Android and iOS, both of the mobile OS are less vulnerable to attack than your PC.

source: Symantec via AndroidandMe



1. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Finally antivirus companies stop with the bull and report something of value. Also, the myth about Android harboring more viruses than your mother's mouth is finally busted.

4. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

all they said is that they are better protected than a pc... is that saying much?

5. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Yes, it is saying much, Lucas. Also, the statement that in some ways Google and Android's security is better in some ways than iOS was a HUGE revelation.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Lucas are you being sarcastic or are you just that ignorant?

9. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Hey, Rory. Haven't seen you in a while. What's up?


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

I have had to work a 6 and half week shift at my job. A major holiday is coming up so it gets extremely busy. I havent had the energy to try to put down the iphone cult fanatics lately lol

13. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Ouch, dude. That's a brutal shift. I'm not so busy, but I'm frustrated right now. I'm trying to turn my SIM-less Cliq into a gaming device with access to the Android market. I couldn't remove my default email account (which of course is connected now to my Droid X) so I tried a factory reset. Now I can't get past the "No Sim" screen. So now I have to research rooting the phone and putting a custom ROM on it, and whether or not that move is possible without an active SIM card. But I'm not going to bother tonight. I've never attempted rooting or custom ROMs before, so this will be brand new territory. BUT, if I succeed, I will join the upper echelons of Android geekdom, an uber user at last. :D


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Tomorrow I'm getting my first rooted Motorola Droid sent to me that runs 2.3. I am going to see if I can learn to install custom roms and overclock it. If I screw it up no worries. I still have my main Droid X phone and I only spent 100 dollars on it so I'm not too worried.

18. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Yea, cuz they way articles had it before Android was the big virus playground, and iOS was Fort Knox They both have their strengths and weaknesses....even when it comes to viruses, malware.

2. Micro$oft unregistered

Can't help but thinking that it's Micro$oft that's paying other antivirus companies to write those crap about other mobileOSes just to dumb their image down so that their WP7 can catch up

6. jiezel91 unregistered

Less likely for this study. We don't even see the WP7 being mentioned. Plus, if this study is funded by Microsoft, we should not see a statement stating that both mobile OSes are far more secure than your home PC which Microsoft has huge market share.

7. captn3x unregistered

Also Microsoft hasn't exactly made any friends in the antivirus realm since the release of Security essentials.

20. pirate_777

Posts: 16; Member since: Feb 27, 2010

well i guess ur wrong bro, others are writing viruses to drop windows and for ur info wp7 is way ahead of the competition both in html5 and os performance. Please read befor posting baseless opinions.

3. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

So both these great OSs have great security also! That's what everyone should take from this.

11. StrumerJohn

Posts: 66; Member since: May 18, 2011

This is kind of common sense... Of course a computer is going to have more viruses out since we have had computers for over 20 years now. We've just kind of started hitting the smart phone era with in the last 5 years.

14. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

The point isn't about the amount of viruses out, it's about how vulnerable the platforms are to those viruses.

16. pirate_777

Posts: 16; Member since: Feb 27, 2010

Hi Phonearena, First of all can u please be clear, first you were reporting that iOS and Android have privacy issues by companies tracking users, which i certainly believe is the truth. Then you report that Android has lots of malware and third party virus apps. And now you report that they are both safer than a normal PC, well my reply is: You are Apple biased, and the proof is that you want to show that Android is worse than iOS, well it is but it has its strong points, anyways i don't care about both of them and certainly don't care about 2 companies that emerged out of the blue. Thats regarding Android and iOS. Now concerning PC or "WINDOWS", i think Microsoft in general is much safer than 2 companies that emerged out of the blue and that both have privacy issues, not to mention that you guys didn't make it clear that our PCs have been there for A LOT of years and in the majority of the world, so virus makers took their sweet time to find the holes in the OS, but as a conclusion Windows and software in general is growing rapidly so those holes in each upgrade and update are being closed slowly so its harder to make a virus, but it still can be made and nothing is perfect, we are humans and we make mistakes aren't we.

17. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Could it be that Android and iOS are both based on Linux, and most PC's are run by Windows? Windows has been a target for many years. I dont think the bad guys focus on Linux. Linux based stuff too much. Well....until Android and iOS hit the scene. Could it be PC's have more things going on application, hardware wise than smartphones? You cant run cds, dvd from your phone, you cant connect usb drives to phones.

19. Kamen unregistered

Sure - make Windows install only Java apps (like Android) and then let's rerun the assasment.

21. pirate_777

Posts: 16; Member since: Feb 27, 2010

Engadget Symantec report on mobile security concludes iOS and Android both vulnerable to attacks By Dana Wollman posted Jun 29th 2011 at 5:00PM "In Symantec's bleak, dystopian world, it doesn't matter whether you choose Android or iOS -- you'll be making yourself vulnerable to attacks regardless of the camp you're in. The company just concluded a study pitting iOS's security against Android's -- an undertaking intended mainly for corporate IT staffs trying to figure out which devices they can safely issue to employees. (Curiously, despite the enterprise focus, you won't find a single comparison against BlackBerrys.) Although iOS won higher marks when it came to thwarting traditional malware and showed a more modest advantage in terms of data loss, data integrity, and service attacks, the two platforms proved equally adept at preventing web-based attacks -- and equally powerless to catch socially engineered ones. And when it came to implementing certain security measures, such as permissions-based controls, Android pulled ahead. Ultimately, Symantec (which sells mobile security software of its own, by the by) concluded that both "are still vulnerable to many existing categories of attacks," not least because both platforms allow users to sync with third-party apps or web services that may or may not be secure themselves. Indeed, Symantec's thesis is that Apple's App Store approval process helps explain its lead in the malware-blocking department. Also, in shocking news, Symantec adds that people using jailbroken are especially attractive targets for attackers, and that these devices are as vulnerable as computers. Don't say no one warned you. Head past the break for a press release with a summary of the findings or, if you're curious, hit the source link for a PDF version of the full report." READ MORE I guess Phonearena loves Apple so much, and plus there was a report a while ago the WP7 is way more secure than both iOS and Android plus these two had tracking issues :)

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