Android Data Theft Is True, but Open Source Is Not the Reason

Android has had numerous data theft concerns in the past and most of them are still persistent. A few days ago, there were concerns on app permissions and recently, there has been a proof of concept attack that claims all Android 2.2 devices as vulnerable.


This has opened up a new business niche for security companies- antivirus for Android. This includes Norton and Trend Micro, both of which are free and popular antivirus for Windows. However, Steve Chang, the Chairman of Trend Micro has something interesting to say on Android insecurity:

Android is open-source, which means the hacker can also understand the underlying architecture and source code. 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.

While praising the Apple system, Chang has also said:

Apple has a sandbox concept that isolates the platform, which prevents certain viruses that want to replicate themselves or decompose and recompose to avoid virus scanners.

Sandboxing is indeed a mechanism to improve security. However, considering this perspective of Chang, any Open-Source software is vulnerable simply because its source is open to all. It is amusing to see that there are people who still believe in security through obscurity and think that closed source is safer than open source. If that is true, Linux should be the most vulnerable Operating System.


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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.