I almost didn’t write this post since it’s about iOS, and I about defending iOS security too much. Not that I think I’m biased, but I worry about being misinterpreted as an apologetic defender (I’m not – Apple still has security issues they need to work on, but iOS is in really good shape these days).
That said, this piece by Erika Morphy over at Forbes is so horribly written, poorly researched, and miscast, that I cannot help myself. It could have been written about other platforms and I would have the same reaction. I know hammering ill-informed press is like tilting at windmills, but every now and then a guy just needs to let loose.
The press likes to sensationalize security, and sometimes with good reason. But articles like this juxtapose incorrect information and cherry-picked quotes to scare users needlessly. They are the local news of the Internet, and we shouldn’t give them a pass. This piece is an excellent example of poor writing, and the analysis of why it’s garbage is just as relevant for any sensationalistic piece, whatever the subject, that lands in front of us.
First some factual corrections:
Kaspersky Labs reports that the first malware to specifically target Google’s Android mobile operating system has been discovered.
No. It’s the first targeted attack using Android they’ve seen, not the first to target Android. Big difference.
iOS was found to be the most vulnerable in a report by SourceFire.
Wrong. Those are historical vulnerabilities, not current vulnerabilities. Big difference. That’s like lumping all Windows vulnerabilities since Windows 1.0 together to say Windows 8 is the most vulnerable platform out there.
And vulnerabilities don’t equate to exploits. Raw, historical vulnerability counts are effectively meaningless for evaluating security on any platform. It is the rate of zero-day exploits, not vulnerabilities, that has everyone’s panties in a bunch.
These two worlds-smugly complacent Apple users and an iOS apparently riddled with vulnerabilities-will surely collide sooner or later, probably sooner.
Do I need to address this? Really? A factually incorrect ad hominem attack?
Look at the rise of adware aimed specifically at Macs, which has been rising since the beginning of the year
Damn. My Ford Escape was recalled, so I had better assume my Ford Explorer is dangerous.
Movie trailer! Media player! I would have thought Mac users to be smarter than that, being one of them myself.
Well, I do suppose this helps prove a point, but probably not the one you were trying to make.