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iPhone, iPad, iPod 'More Susceptible to Attacks' on Gaming Apps - New Security Report

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By Ryan Inoyori | June 19, 2014 6:41 PM EST

iOS is no longer as secure as Android when it comes to malware threats, according to a new report published by Marble Labs. Jailbreaking, SMS and Wi-Fi connections are some methods used by attackers to penetrate the security measures on these devices.

Android And iOS on Security

Android's current ecosystem acts as an open pathway for attacks by simply creating applications at the Play Store or offering third-party apps downloadable from other sites. iOS closed-system environment allows Apple to manage apps available for users. But there are other available ways to penetrate this tight security measure.

Marble Labs cited both mobile operating systems are at risk to almost every attack such as malware infection or data hacking and users should not be complacent.

"Some people believe that iOS is a more secure operating system than Android. That said, Apple controls app distribution and OS version control in a more secure way which creates a more secure operating environment than Android. However, the risks to enterprises allowing employees to bring in their own devices, whether iOS or Android-based are not that dissimilar," a part of Marble Labs' report.

Securing applications in a confined environment is not enough to prevent attacks such as phishing or spamming. Users may encounter attacks via SMS or Wi-Fi connections that are compromised.

Marble Labs Threat Matrix on iOS and Android

Threat Type

iOS

Android OS

Phishing

Yes

Yes

Spear-Phishing

Yes

Yes

SMS-Phishing

Yes

Yes

App-Phishing

Yes

Yes

Apps Mining Corporate Directories

Yes

Yes

Jailbreak, Root, Jammer

Yes

Yes

SSL Vulnerabilities

Yes

Yes

Hostile Configuration Profiles

Yes

No

Unencrypted Email Attachments

Yes

Yes

Randomware

Yes

Yes

Backup Hijacking

Yes

Yes

OS Fragmentation

No

Yes

Sideloading of Apps

No

Yes

Harvest Phone Call and SMS Logs

No

Yes

Why Users Exchange Security Over Control

iOS and Android devices are more susceptible to threats or attacks when jailbroken or rooted as they exploit and break the operating system. Once the OS has been broken through jailbreaking or root access, any user will gain full administrative privileges which allow total control over the device.

Here are the factors why users exchange security over control:

1.      Access to approximately 200,000 apps that have not been approved by the Apple App Store.

2.      Modification on system settings that have been restricted by Android and iOS.

3.      Instant switch over a cheap foreign network carrier for holidays or vacation travels.

4.      Users may have lent the device to a child who desires to access banned applications.

5.      Free viewing of DRM-restricted paid movies.

6.      User is from a country where jailbreaking and rooting are normal to allow network neutrality.

Marble Labs analyzed more than one million applications from Apple Store and Play Store to determine which type delivers higher risk to devices. Based on that, Android devices are at risk with social media apps while iOS devices are at risk with gaming apps.

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