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How Apple's iOS Went From Insecure To Most Secure 312

GMGruman writes "There's no such thing as a perfectly secure operating system, but security experts agree — somewhat grudgingly in some cases — that iOS, Apple's mobile operating system, is the most secure commercial OS today, mobile or desktop. It didn't start that way of course, and Robert Lemos explains what Apple did to go from insecure to most secure."
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How Apple's iOS Went From Insecure To Most Secure

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @02:22PM (#36365382)

    Wait... aren't we talking about the same iOS that gets jailbroken like clockwork still?

  • Most Secure? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OKK77 ( 683209 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @02:25PM (#36365416)
    Most Secure? And the security is in the App Store? I don't know why the author's trying so hard to bullshit his way through. Sensationalist headlines just to get a few more ad impressions, eh.
  • Grudging (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Altus ( 1034 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @02:29PM (#36365490) Homepage

    Any expert that holds a grudge like that is no expert I ever care to hear from.

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @02:30PM (#36365492)

    Apple is going after the market of users who are sick of dealing with security issues/malware/etc. They've done it by created a closed system. And while us geeks hate that, it has a strong appeal to most people. When they go to a closed system on Mac's (and they will), that's who they're going to be appealing to. "Buy a computer where all your software is pre-screened through our App Store and you don't have to worry about viruses" is a powerful (and potentially very profitable) message in a time when malware and assorted hacks have become so common.

  • Agreed - the eventual limited machines... "consoles" essentially, though for 'work' instead of 'games', will be quite popular. Which does kind of suck for geeks, because our specialty hardware will no longer benefit from the economies of scale, at least not to the same degree.
  • by mccrew ( 62494 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @02:57PM (#36365840)
    from TFA:

    Although iOS has a lot of security going on underneath the hood, its safety could be due in large part to the fact that attackers have not focused on compromising the devices because there is no economic incentive to attack them, says Lookout's Mahaffey.

    Really? No economic incentive?

    Unlike PCs and Macs, every cell phone is directly associated with a credit card. Essentially a cell phone IS money. Bad actors can - and do - monetize this with malware that places calls to sketchy and high-cost phone numbers, or send texts to subscribe to "information services," resulting in (fraudulent) charges showing up each month. And good luck trying to dispute charges with your cellular provider on those. They will just tell you that their hands are tied by federal law and that they can't help you, but nonetheless will turn around and threaten you with collection if you don't pay.

    There's definitely economic incentive to attack mobile phones.

  • Um.. No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sl4shd0rk ( 755837 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @02:58PM (#36365848)

    OpenBSD has been at it a lot longer. Even as a Linux Zealot, I would choose OpenBSD for security. IOS is a closed Black-Box that nobody but Stevie knows what's inside. Historically we tend to find *cough*siemens*cough* that closed source, proprietary *cough*secureid*cough* offerings do not necessarily equate to a trustworthy or "secure" system. What seems to happen is closed source options provide a layer of obscurity which allow the governing company *cough*dropbox*cough* to take inexcusable risks with customers assets because, basically, they don't need to show anybody. As long as they never get caught, they save a lot of money not having to implement a system to keep them honest.

  • by EraserMouseMan ( 847479 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @02:58PM (#36365852)
    It's amazing how people lose all objectivity when they've fallen for Apple. Love is blind. The fact is that they love their Apple gear so much they love it and discount all flaws and shortcomings and never stop begging for more.
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @03:22PM (#36366142) Journal

    the article is claiming iOS is the most secure because of the gated app store.

    Ah, there it is. Just a few stories ago, there was the headline about Apple putting some desktop and laptop machines behind the walled garden and maybe phasing out OSX altogether.

    And then..."iOS is the most secure".

    You can start to see the outline of a marketing campaign that will convince people that they really don't need to have anything on their Mac that didn't come from Apple, one way or another.

    As a long-time Mac user and owner of several Mac Pro and MacBook Pro machines, I find this transformation of "machines to make things with" to "machines you can consume content with" quite offensive. It may be good business for Apple, and good for Apple shareholders, but for the future of personal computing for people who don't use Windows or Linux, it kind of sucks.

  • by sqldr ( 838964 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @03:40PM (#36366382)
    It updates without asking people..  it disables things without asking people...  certain types of useful software are internally prevented from ever running on it..  it steals information about me - such as my geographical location and uploads it to a server without me asking..  it won't work unless it has my credit card number..

    if a hacker did that to my laptop, I'd hunt him down and punch his fucking head in.

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors