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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72 Comments

69. SIGPRO

Posts: 2819; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

So true Iphones are the worst devices ever, but they sell a lot. Still crap is crap!

68. NateAdam8

Posts: 441; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

If people thing to highly of something this will happen and as long as they believe iPhone is safe they'll always have problems....... Notice the most secure Mobile Platforms are the ones people talk smack about!

66. Trex95

Posts: 2407; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

blah blah blah as usual. when your'e the best everybody want to break you did the crap study knows that the dev team used hacked the Iphone 5 with NASA malwaer just to jailbreak it! don't think so they knows s**t.

65. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Android>WP>BB>iPhone The end. ;)

59. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I wonder what the folks will say about this that claim web use statistics favoring the iPhone means the iPhone should have a bigger market share. I guess this means the iPhone has a bigger market share too?

58. tecMaster

Posts: 5; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

I really dont believe this; still not that I really care since I have never had any issue with my iPhones; not the same story with my androids; jaja!! Still I really love this figths among android babys and apple fanboys... Jaja! Just crack me up. Continue people; keep figthing over companies that continue generating lots of cash, wheter you fight for them or not. Jajaja! Dumb A$*^]^ jajajaja!!

51. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

It is awesome! :D

49. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Uh oh......this wont go over too well with the usual suspects... Month after month, year after year....more Apple, iPhone, iOS and Android myths continue to fall.

45. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Oh, there are some hurt feelings on PA today! Almost 10 times more vulnerabilities than Android. OUCH! So can we all agree no OS is perfect now?

37. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

SCHILLER was SHRILLING the other day against ANDROID about security. Let's see if anyone from GOOG HQ SHRILLS on this :)

39. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

its why I avoid talking about other OS's security issues...

62. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

As long as you are wired you are insecure. There's no bullet proof security. 12 years back when we were scouting for our first dedicated server (yea 12 years back ... then we had opted for Wirex Immunix as that was considered hack proof" we asked about security ... and the answer that we got from them then, i am writing here ... "Best security is pull the power chord from the socket" ...

31. drnggaj33

Posts: 127; Member since: Feb 29, 2012

malware means nothing to me google andriod phone been out for 5yrs now ...i never downloaded a app to scan for bugs on my andriod phone....i worked for verizon wireless and now att ....all phones act up they are mini computers i've seen every phone come back even iphones

25. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

This is fantastic. "Android malware, Android malware, unjustified statements, vulnerability of Android." And this is why open source wins.

60. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Linux that's why Microsoft purely evilly hate Linux

19. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Android outshines all others for a variety of reasons, chief among them being the fact that it is an object oriented archiecture based on theatre Java language. Being open-source, developers around the world are contributing to improving Android every day, that helps account for Androids staggering market share.

36. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

JAVA is a RESOURCE HOG beyond all doubts.

18. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

I like that picture

16. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

talk about vulnerable OS, not only iOS crashes more but is more vulnerable? when it stopped "Just Working"

14. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Redo the pie chart and list number of exploits/vulnerabilities in the CURRENT release of the mobile OS and not from the past 25 years. Don't include Windows XP vulnerabilities in Windows 8. Nomsayen?

24. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

The pie chart is only phone OSes, so it definitely doesn't include XP or Win8.

27. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

LOL. It was just an example. Why would you list ALL vulnerablities from the past 25 years instead of current/open ones?

29. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

dude, the iPhone is not 25 years old, its roughly 1-2 years older than android and still kicking with 81% of the issues, so don't use that as an excuse

30. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

RTFA eh?

32. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

why? clearly read it it says 81% and says iPhone... your argument still lacks depth

33. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Read the article again or click on SourceFire in the source. What are you not understanding with this article?

35. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

I refuse to sing up in order to see a research, what I missed on the article? what I said is that ios is not 25 years old, its roughly around 7, now is iOS the only OS that patches exploits? of course many of those exploits found on the others are patched up too... you think the others will suddenly have a even bigger surge of current exploits? can you explain your argument further? I can explain mine, taking the data you can calculate an average of exploits per year 210

38. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

210 divided by 7 =? 24 divided by 5 =?

47. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

Challenge accepted. As expected from the previous graph, Apple has the highest number of vulnerabilities every year. It’s interesting to note though, that Apple has had significant CVE growth year over year, yet their OS has implemented more security features in subsequent iterations. While one may argue that the increase in CVEs is due to the increased popularity of the phone over the years, Android, the current market leader for mobile phone operating systems, has actually received fewer CVEs in 2012 than it did in 2011, even though it had explosive growth in market share [7]. Pretty sure you didn't read the article either because they counted all the vulnerabilities from the iPhone yet it still managed to still have the most. I need a wipe after you're done eating down there.

52. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

WTF are you on about? The past 25 years?! May as well call out Ford for the Model T not having airbags and anti-lock brakes.

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