Have an iPhone? Watch out for hackers

Mobile devices have always been often considered as safer. Desktop and laptops, the theory goes, are way more vulnerable to hackers and cyber criminals. That’s true to some extent. But hackers are clever enough today to compromise tablets and smartphones, as well. And there’s one specific mobile device that gets compromised a lot more often than any other. As per a recent story by Business Insider, it’s the iPhone which is the most hackable mobile device.

Hackable

Business Insider cites research conducted recently by Web security firm SourceFire – “25 Years of Vulnerabilities” – in its story. As outlined by Source Fire, iPhones have registered 210 CVE – Critical Vulnerabilities – reports. In contrast, mobile devices powered by the Android operating system have just received 24 CVE reports. That’s a major difference.

Reasons

What are the reasons for this? Why have hackers had such a field day with the iPhone while pretty much ignoring other mobile devices? There is no simple factor to this. But Business Insider marvels whether the iPhone might be targeted more frequently simply because of its popularity. All things considered, the device still maintains popular status in the tech world, and customers still flock to buy each new edition of this phone. However, this argument falls apart when looking at the growing popularity of Android-powered devices. According to the SourceFire report, the number of CVEs on Android devices actually dropped in 2012 when compared with 2011. And it was just last year when Android’s market share – and the number of Android devices purchased – soared.

Another explanation?

In an interview with the ZDNet Web site, the author of the SourceFire report wonders if hackers don’t target the iPhone more frequently because it’s more of a challenge. Of course, Android relies on an open platform. This means that it’s relatively easy for criminals and scammers to create malicious apps for this platform. Users could then download them to their phones on their own. Hacking the iPhone, which does not use an open platform, might be more challenging. And that may inspire the nation’s best hackers.


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