Trend Micro releases Android security app, says iOS is more secure

By on January 12, 2011, 2:03 PM
Trend Micro, the world’s largest provider of security software for corporate servers, has announced Trend Micro Mobile Security for Android, to address "the burgeoning need for protection against cyber-attacks on Android-powered mobile devices." The software protects digital files and secures banking transactions on Android devices by identifying and stopping cybercriminals and online threats before they can attack.

The Android platform is the second largest mobile platform on the market today, so naturally, the security company was asked why it didn't target the biggest one: iOS. "Android is open-source, which means the hacker can also understand the underlying architecture and source code," Steve Chang, chairman of Trend Micro, told Businessweek. "We have to give credit to Apple, because they are very careful about it. It's impossible for certain types of viruses" to operate on the iPhone, he said.

Of course, Android's parent company has its own view of malware on the mobile OS. "On all computing devices, users necessarily entrust at least some of their information to the developer of the application they're using," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. "Android has taken steps to inform users of this trust relationship and to limit the amount of trust a user must grant to any given application developer."

Trend Micro lists four key features of Mobile Security for Android: safe surfing, parental controls (low, medium, or high filtering), download protection, as well as call and text filtering. The app uses the Trend Micro Smart Protection Network to make sure users receive instant browser protection wherever they take their Android mobile device. The call filtering feature lets the user define a list of phone numbers from which to block calls or texts.

"Trend Micro has a proven track record of being a long-time leader in the mobile security market, from protecting Windows Mobile 2003 devices to our recent Trend Smart Surfing iPhone application," Carol Carpenter, general manager of Trend Micro consumer and small business, said in a statement. "With the Android platforms rapid growth, cybercriminals will be rushing to take advantage of these mobile devices anyway they can. Trend Micro Mobile Security highlights our continuing goal of protecting our customers anytime, on any device."





User Comments: 20

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darkjeric said:

What a load of BS! This is clearly just pure marketing-speech.

First, Android is indeed the second largest mobile smartphone platform, but as far as world-wide numbers go, iOS is not even near that spot, while Symbian leads the whole pack with (still) a considerable margin.

Second, the now quarter-century of open source has taught us one thing: Security through obscurity isn't really secure at all. It's indeed true that it's easier to find leaks/weak spots in Android because of the freely available source code, but for every malicious cracker looking at that source code, there are 3-4 volunteer-programmerss that discover them too, report them and possibly even fix them. Open source software is simply more vulnerable to discovery of security flaws, which means they get found faster AND get fixed faster.

Linux is the purest example of that. If open source is so insecure, then why do more than half the internet's web servers run on some form of Linux?

Guest said:

how is iOS more secure than android?

Do you know many exploits have been made for iOS?

princeton princeton said:

You guys are both correct in every sense. Especially your comment guest. If iOS is so secure then how come people find an exploit in every release, sometimes even before a release happens.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

@Princeton well those exploits require a lot of user interaction, and I mean a lot! That is why the jailbreak releases take some weeks and then some more weeks for an actual tool to ship, and then you have to plug your iOS device to a PC* to run an specific tool and jailbreak the device.

*PC meaning personal computer (mac or win)

Guest said:

just to add up. this is not bullshit.

every Geek, techspot readers alike would choose android over iOS because of being open platform. Customization and free apps are the seliing point of android. A OS Being open will lead to OS flavors just like the Linux community now. More flavors means more hardwork for developers and contributors which not all are being paid to do it.

For me I prefer iOS, it is polished and is a closed OS. You can argue that more exploits are found in the iOS. But that happen always even in windows and linux or in android. Advantage for it is the more exploit found and the more people would like to find exploits of it, the more secure it will be given that apple has the money to pay developers for security and they have pride to protect. That is the assumption of trend micro why they said it is more secure. I do mind messing my pc, but i dont mind messing my phone. a phone should be a phone, not a pc.

princeton princeton said:

marioestrada said:

@Princeton well those exploits require a lot of user interaction, and I mean a lot! That is why the jailbreak releases take some weeks and then some more weeks for an actual tool to ship, and then you have to plug your iOS device to a PC* to run an specific tool and jailbreak the device.

*PC meaning personal computer (mac or win)

1. Plug into pc

2. Run tool like limerain

3.???

4.PROFIT!!!

And only 2 of those steps actually made sense. Two whole steps to jailbreak? That's a lot(sarcasm) Or by lots of interaction do you mean by the people finding the exploits in the first place?

Det Det said:

Nobody noticed they stated this "Android is not that secure" statement along with releasing their security app for it?

JudaZ said:

ha ha ,.... sure iOS is more secure ... just visit jailbreak.me , swipe and the phone is jailbroken ...

sure that was a security hole in Safari .. but still...

come on ..iOS secure? Where?

You have locked you phone? Really? Why am i calling from it right now then?

And what does Trend Micro know about security anyway?

Almost as much as Symantec does about writing a program that does NOT steal 30% preformance from you computer.

JudaZ said:

"a phone should be a phone, not a pc." Then you should sell your iPhone . Calling is what is worst at. Sure you cant do much else either withoutr downloading an app for it... and still not much you can do if Steve J havnt approved it. ..

But if you want a phone to be a phone, then you should buy a phone. possibly a Nokia 1208. It is great as a phone. Does nothing else and it exells at beeing just a phone.

Guest said:

^ What I'm trying to say is that Android has customizations done by independent developers and manufacturers and that will pose security concerns. pairing it up with independent developers it will be worse. Im trying to compare it to a pc where you can customize any os you want to install with it. Im not talking about the apps, I'm talking about the OS. You have every freedom. But to a phone or a smartphone, having freedom to customize the OS would be threat to security concerns.

As for jailbreakme.com, even cydia developers have developed a fixed for the pdf exploit used in by the jailbreak. now, imagine that. Also Apple has since closed that hole if you want the simple way just update but losing the jailbreak.

And No, I wont sell my iphone 4. Life is good man. I'll buy you next time an openline iphone 4. my treat to you. :) Promise.

mrrtmrrt said:

Android is far more insecure than iOS by design, though not necessarily because of its open source nature and is already suffering the fallout despite having half the installed base worldwide.

The proof is in the pudding. It is Android and the Android Marketplace that has suffered multiple malware outbreaks such as:

- More than 50 Android mobile banking apps in the Android Marketplace each targeted at a specific financial institution whose true purpose was phishing and identity theft.

- A wallpaper app that was downloaded 4 million times which maliciously forwarded user details to a location in China before being discovered.

- the Geinimi botnet app that is infecting numerous Android apps on Chinese app stores and spreading around the world.

- Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a, the Russian ?Movie player? app that surreptitiously sent premium SMS texts from unsuspecting users

- Brand new HTC Magic phones infected with the Mariposa botnet and Conficker and a Lineage password-stealing Trojan that attempt to infect Windows PCs when connected over USB.

- Mobile Spy and Mobile Stealth

- SMS Message Spy Pro and SMS Message Spy Lite spyware apps

- The 45,000 spamware apps clogging up the Android Marketplace (as noted by Appbrain)

In contrast, despite hosting over a third of a million apps and 7 billion downloads, there have been Zero pieces of malware come through the iOS App Store. A 100% safety record. Not bad, and good reassurance for a public tired of virus-riddled PCs.

Then of course there is the side-loading of apps with absolutely any nasty thing being possible in Android and no review of apps at all in the Marketplace and we are talking a completely different level of insecurity and exposure.

iOS requires signed code and enforces strict sand-boxing and provides hardware encryption all of which Android lacks. Instead Android throws up a Vista-like screen of permissions for each app which the average user is not necessarily going to read or understand.

All developers on the iOS store have far more stringent monetary and ID checks to post apps so the chances of mischief are so much less as to be negligible in comparison.

ps. Of course if you jail-break your iPhone, all bets are off.

-Mart

mrrtmrrt said:

The vulnerability used by jailbreakme.com was patched way back at v4.02 (we are now at v4.2.5).

-Mart

princeton princeton said:

Mart. You realize every app running on android is sandboxed right? I'll take the small chance that an app has malware instead of having a ridiculous apple approval process. P.S. most droid apps DO HAVE REVIEWS, on the app page itself or online.

mrrtmrrt said:

@Princeton

Android has app sandboxing, but it also has a shared file-system which is not sand-boxed. Android also does not have hardware-based encryption.

I'm sure the thousands of Android users who downloaded any of the 50 online bank apps that were in reality phishing malware felt great that the apps had reviews - after the fact. ;-)

I assume you are also happy that 45% of the Apps on the Android Marketplace are spam apps?

Are you also happy that iOS has 309 games from all the top tier games publishers like Gameloft, Capcom Mobile, EA, Ngmoco, Pangea, Popcap and ID while Android only has 16 games from a few of these publishers. Sixteen! With 38,000 games in total for iOS vs 13,000 for Android.

Although Popcap and EA have said they will start porting some games to Android soon, this disparity is not likely to change much with iOS developers making 50x the income ($1 billion) compared to Android ($21 million) over a similar timeframe according to Larva Labs and with piracy ranging from 50-97% on Android.

Here is what Jon Lech Johanssen, the author of DoubleTwist the most popular iTunes replacement on Android has to say on the subject of quality of Android apps:

"Google does far too little curation of the Android Market, and it shows. Unlike Apple?s App Store, the Android Market has few high quality apps....Developers and users are getting fed up and it?s time for Google to clean up the house."

Still feeling good about no reviewing of apps?

-Mart

mrrtmrrt said:

@princeton,

Regarding apps having reviews, I am actually referring to the app store owner reviewing, testing and screening apps before determining whether to let them through, not user-level reviews which are all after the fact and un-verified.

-Mart

JudaZ said:

mrrtmrrt said:

The vulnerability used by jailbreakme.com was patched way back at v4.02 (we are now at v4.2.5).

-Mart

yes, but still existed didnt it.. ?

That was the point.

mrrtmrrt said:

@JudaZ

Yes they existed, but as I say, a vulnerability that is rapidly patched and does not suffer any malicious exploits is effectively completely harmless for the end user.

Now 50 bank phishing apps hosted on the official Android Marketplace, that premium SMS texter, and 45,000 spam apps do in contrast have a direct impact on the end users.

This is the difference between an academic possibility and a real-world certainty and the difference in real level of security for Android users vs iOS users.

-Mart

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

Jailbreaking is a process that take a little time. Android is easier to move around in and isn't that hard to get into.

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

a phone should be a phone, not a pc
AMEN ! Smartphones aren't so smart, high complexity, and frequently interfere with the usability of the basic unit.

A phone is for voice (and many cases not even texting) whereas Video, IM, Chat, ... belongs elsewhere IMO. :grin:

vangrat said:

In other news, Trend Micro profits for this quarter have increased by 20%. Sources close to Trend state it has nothing to do with their partnership with Apple...

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