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How safe is your mobile operating system?

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Vulnerabilities of mobile OS’ are now a casual affair, for the frequencies of malware related issues have risen to alarming heights. When analysing which platform is safer, two security firms have looked at how secure the Android and iOS platforms are. The results may surprise you, but how worried should we be? And what cautionary steps should be taken?

Users that dabble in third-party app stores (should) know what they’re doing, especially when it concerns workarounds and an unauthorised market place for apps. Bountiful in choices in countries like China and Russia, some of these apps are obviously laden with hidden malware and that’s where the official sources, Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, vets them.

Conventional thought has always made Apple the king when it comes to supplying the most secure operating system (OS X or iOS). Nevertheless, a new study provides some surprising insights that iOS is 4% more prone to vulnerable attacks compared to Android. The breakdown of the numbers is as listed below:

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Partly due to the amazing growth of the mobile ecosystem that sees nearly 1.5 million apps between the two platforms and multiple billions of downloads, this screams to be the best place for hackers to have some fun – at our expense. Extending way beyond instant messaging and social media, apps have evolved to include these sectors; banking and medicine, just to name a few.

Dedicated detection in-built into apps would be one of the most promising course of action for smartphone vendors. It doesn’t help either that mobile OS’ run in a sandbox environment. To simplify what that means, you’re letting an application do what it needs to, in a secure setting. There are restrictions, so for example if you were to use an anti-spyware/malware app on your device, it can only do so much – now restricted by the operating system instead of the other way around. For a more thorough explanation head on over here.

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Always ensure that the apps you download are from reputable developers, especially if you’re on an Android device. In a sense, iOS is more tightly overseen when giving power to developers, so that’s a smaller sandbox and vetting them before going live on the App Store.

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While Google also has its own process, it isn’t as stringent as Apple – case and point, no validity for Play Store apps. It’s understandable that with a fairly open-sourced platform, Android will have its trade-offs when it concerns pushing out security updates but hopefully Android M solves this. OEMs have jumped on the idea of providing monthly security updates, as far as Samsung, LG and HTC is concerned.

The full report from Checkmarx can be found here. Till another malware attack arrives, keep your personal data safe everyone!

For further reading, check out these articles below:

Ghost Push Trojan hits the Google Play Store; there’s a fix, don’t worry
WeChat and 76 apps on iOS affected by XcodeGhost hack; remove them immediately if you have them
Android and Samsung both commit to monthly security patches after StageFright

[ SOURCE, VIA2 ]