Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 8th Oct 2013 17:08 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

Gartner analyst David Willis, who is chief of research for mobility and communications and who runs Gartner's Senior Research Board, said to Schmidt: "If you polled many people in this audience they would say Google Android is not their principal platform [...] When you say Android, people say, wait a minute, Android is not secure."

Schmidt didn't miss a beat, replying, "Not secure? It's more secure than the iPhone."

I don't know if it's more or less secure - all I do know is that there is no evidence pointing either way. People sometimes pretend that something is evidence, like reports that there are more malware variants targeting Android than there are variants targeting iOS - which has absolutely nothing to do with which of the platforms is more secure. For instance, we had a report from antivirus peddler F-Secure a few months ago, which stated that 79% of malware families targeted Android. Great. Too bad it didn't actually tell us anything about infection rate, the statistic which would actually tell us something.

Only 1% of malware families might be targeting platform Xyz, but if that 1% of malware managed to infect large numbers of devices, it's a far bigger deal than the 99% of malware families targeting platform Abc but only managing to infect a small number of devices. This simple fact seems - sadly unsurprisingly - lost on most bloggers and journalists.

So, lots of talk about how Android is supposedly insecure (almost always pointing to reports from... Antivirus companies), yet no proof that actually backs this statement up. Let me just repeat this common mantra: if you install antivirus on your smartphone, be it Android or iOS, you're wasting space and processor cycles on absolute total pointlessness.

Schmidt saying that Android is more secure than iOS is just as completely and utterly idiotic as saying the reverse. Both are just fine as they are. And in case you still haven't seen the memo, despite decades of evidence: antivirus companies are scum. Do not trust them. Ever.

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by pooo on Tue 8th Oct 2013 18:19 UTC
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Thom I was tracking you until the last sentence. How does Schmidt not have access to exactly the statistics you say are required to make these claims? And Schmidt knows the details of android security measures in great depth, almost certainly also knows iOS security in great depth.

*And* it makes sense for him in his role to make statements like that just to combat the false perception of iOS' security you refer to. Seems like a perfectly sane thing to say and given his knowledge and role it is especially interesting because he knew it would invite debate and rebuttal so it is a pretty strong stance for google to take in general wrt security. Since it can roughly be backed up in discussions of how android's security model works compared to iOS, his statement immediately changed the tone of the android security conversation. Pretty damn smart if you ask me.

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