This week at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt was asked a question about Android security. Rather than answer directly, he said “Not secure? It’s more secure than the iPhone.” Perhaps unsurprisingly this drew laughter from the crowd – but he was being laughed AT, not WITH. Because it comes after a report showed >1 million Android apps had malware.
The report from F-Secure showed that in 2012 Android accounted for 79% of malware and malicious attacks, up from 66% in 2011. While there is certainly some impact of the platform market share, the actual numbers are way out of proportion. Here is the breakdown:
None of this aligns with Schmidt’s defense of security, in which he tried to conflate the platform numbers with security. Certainly the Linux kernel at the heart of the platform allows for the potential of security, but as with so many things the open-ness of the platform also means it is open for easy attacks through malware and other channels.
So nice try, Schmidt … but try to remember that having huge numbers doesn’t automatically attach all other positive attributes.