iPhone more vulnerable than Android, BB, and WP combined

iPhone more vulnerable than Android, BB, and WP combined
Security is always a hot topic with mobile platforms, but most of the time the focus is on Android and the malware issues that exist for the platform if you don't use the Google Play Store. But, a new study shows that maybe we should pay more attention to the iPhone's security issues, because the study claims that the iPhone has more security vulnerabilities than Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone combined.

The study was conducted by SourceFire, which analyzed vulnerabilities from the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) data and National Vulnerability Database (NVD) over the past 25 years. Yves Younan, senior research engineer at SourceFire's Vulnerabilities Research Team and author of the report, said that the results were "surprising", especially since despite Apple constantly releasing security fixes with each update, CVE continue to grow year over year.

According to the study, the iPhone has 210 vulnerabilities, which adds up to 81% of mobile phone platform vulnerabilities in the four platforms studied. Android has just 24 known vulnerabilities, Windows has 14, and BlackBerry has 11, which combined rounds out the remaining 19%. The study didn't extend to fringe systems like Symbian, bada, and the rest. To be fair, these numbers are a cumulative total since 2007, but even removing 2007 from the mix, iPhone still has 205 vulnerabilities to Android's 24. 

Younan's theory to explain the results is that cybercriminals can't get at users through the iTunes App Store, and have to work harder to find iPhone vulnerabilities, so more are found. Whereas, because Android is an open platform, that makes it easier for criminals to attack the platform. 

Of course, he doesn't mention that only 0.5% of malware comes through the Google Play Store, so criminals still have to find ways to get Android users to sideload infected apps. It is still very possible that Android simply has fewer vulnerabilities because it is open-source (which tends to be more secure), and the only real serious vulnerability with Android is that users are allowed to screw things up if they aren't careful.

source: SourceFire via ZDNet and BGR

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73 Comments

1. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

Will we be able to keep this civilized? It's hard to believe BGR will have an article for this though.

20. lolioslol

Posts: 182; Member since: Dec 10, 2012

IT JUST WORKS!

22. Mxyzptlk unregistered

It does. I think this little study or finding is inaccurate. Now if you mean more vulnerable to physical theft then yeah. iPhones are the most stolen phones out of any smartphone.

23. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

truth hurts doesn't it?

26. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Or maybe it has to do with the recent blizzard of lock screen hacks.

28. Ninetysix

Posts: 2964; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Which ones? The ones for the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note II or the Sony Xperia Z?

43. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

No, the 5 or 6 on the iPhone.

57. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

The one for the iPhone.....

34. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

I remember 2010 Apple OS for desktop was considered most vulnerable. Not surprising to find this on same lines ... in 2010 i thin k it was bitdefender who had published the finding ...

40. androiddownsouth

Posts: 598; Member since: May 02, 2012

But then of course Mxy a 2nd grader could come up with a survey about android being the worst and you would undoubtedly say it is beyond reproach. All electronics have pros and cons, even your precious iPhone. Serously, is there a name for what is wrong with you and your tunnel vision about Apple?????

44. lolioslol

Posts: 182; Member since: Dec 10, 2012

Apple Maps! Do not disturb! Hackable lock screen! Bendable frame! IT JUST WORKS!

46. gmracer1

Posts: 646; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

Yeah well, noobcake, that's not what they're talking about. Perhaps you should read back over paragraph #2. Here....... "The study was conducted by SourceFire, which analyzed vulnerabilities from the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) data and National Vulnerability Database (NVD) over the past 25 years. Yves Younan, senior research engineer at SourceFire's Vulnerabilities Research Team and author of the report, said that the results were "surprising", especially since despite Apple constantly releasing security fixes with each update, CVE continue to grow year over year."

54. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Spinning like a top.

56. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

2012: iOS - 86 vulnerabilities Android - 6 vulnerabilities 'nuff said.

63. JojoGo101

Posts: 211; Member since: Dec 17, 2012

Fanboy. Understand English and accept your little iPhone isn't the best smartphone. :)

64. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

"iPhone's are the most stolen phones out of any smartphone" ?! You kidding me bro?! I'd rather get a BlackBerry Z10 instead.

73. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

BRO.. it's a fact. iPhones have the highest resale value of any phone.. hence they get stolen far more than any other. It doesn't matter what YOU'd rather get.. people still clamor for the iPhone, so until their resale value comes down, they'll keep getting stolen more than others. Having said that.. I'd never buy an iPhone on contract, let alone used.

74. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Yeah, I know. In most of the peoples, they think that iPhones are like a gold. For me, I think other phones are more "golder" than the iPhone. Why I hate the iPhone? Because their design always remain the same. Why I don't like Apple? Because they are greedy, they always love to sue other manufacturers. :)

67. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

You think it's inaccurate, eh? Since the study brought proof of its findings, it's now up to you to provide a good goddamn reason why it's wrong. The funny thing is, you know you can't. This is just your idiocy jumping out of your mouth when you have nothing backing it up.

70. taikucing unregistered

How the hell is that study inaccurate? Who are you trying to be an expert? Are you better than those people (engineer)?

48. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

http://goo.gl/7Em6V For those who don't want to sign up.

53. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Awesome! I'll change the link in the article.

2. Ninetysix

Posts: 2964; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Explain http://www.phonearena.com/news/Eight-of-the-top-ten-devices-activated-for-enterprise-use-in-Q4-were-Apple-devices_id40276 the article is also listing all the vulnerabilities from the past 25 years.

5. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

easy... companies don't research enough about this type of investment... so they choose popular demand... or what they thinks is best...

7. Aeires unregistered

Agreed. There's more to the selection process than just security. Case in point, the hospital I work at is looking at tablets, and apps are a big factor in what gets purchased.

21. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Well in that case, they should go for iPads I imagine... I think there are way more medical apps and tools for them... But for a regular office enterprise, I would think a Galaxy Note 10.1 or an Asus Transformer would probably be better... But at the end I think that on the office the Surface or Windows base will do better...

71. Aeires unregistered

They'll probably go with the iPad for the apps and partly because so many residents use iPhones. The IT guy reviewing them is an Android user so he's at least trying to keep the discussion open instead of falling into group think. We also have computer deals because we buy in bulk so getting Windows tablets isn't too far a stretch either.

8. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

One in every three child born today is Asian. Majority of Asians live in Asia. Explain. This is you.

9. Ninetysix

Posts: 2964; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Wrong math broseph.

50. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

That was a logic statement....had nothing to do with math. I cant remember what type off the top of my head.....invalid argument? Whatever it is.....I vaguely remember it when I took Intro to Logic in college...

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