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Mobile Apps Ripe For Malicious Software

Found this article in the Wall Street Journal that talks about malicious software being delivered via the app stores in mobile devices. While the iPhone is not untouchable from these malicious apps from what The Wall Street Journal is reporting, Google’s Android phones are far more likely to be affected. Here’s a excerpt from the article, link to the full article follows.

By SPENCER E. ANTE via The Wall Street Journal

Some security experts believe Google’s Android Market is more vulnerable than other app stores since Google doesn’t examine all apps before they are available for users to download.

A Google spokesman said the company has put in place security measures, such as remotely disabling apps found to be malicious and requiring developers to register with its Checkout payment service, and argued there’s no evidence for claims that its store poses a greater risk than others.

.Apple vets applications before they appear in its App Store, but risks still exist. In July 2008, Apple pulled a popular game called Aurora Feint from its store after it was discovered to be uploading users’ contact lists to the game maker’s servers. More recently, it yanked hundreds of apps it said violated its policies, some out of security concerns.

“Consumers should be aware that iPhone security is far from perfect and that a piece of software downloaded from the App Store may still be harmful,” wrote software engineer Nicolas Seriot in a research paper detailing iPhone security holes that he presented at a computer security conference in February.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs, speaking at the All Things D conference this week, said his company’s employees carefully curate the store. “We have a few rules: has to do what it’s advertised to do, it has to not crash, it can’t use private APIs,” or application programming interfaces, he said, adding that 95% of submissions are approved.

“Apple takes security very seriously,” a spokeswoman said. “We have a very thorough approval process and review every app. We also check the identities of every developer.”

Apple’s iPhone itself isn’t immune to mobile threats, either. Since 2008, security experts have identified at least 36 security holes in the phone’s software, according to a review of the National Vulnerability Database maintained by the Department of Homeland Security. One, identified in September 2009, could have allowed hackers to learn someone’s username and password from messages sent to servers when browsing the Web.

full story here

~TechnoNoob~

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