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Apple on the attack! Company cites sideloading for Android malware issues

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It’s no secret that the late Steve Jobs despised Android and considered it a blatant iOS scam. Jobs famously said he wanted to destroy Android and that he would, even if he wiped out Apple’s funds. To the average layperson, both operating systems look similar, but there are huge differences, as phone enthusiasts know.

Apple blames Android malware on platform’s ability to sideload apps

Where iOS is, to use the typical cliché, a “walled garden,” Android is open, allowing users to customize their devices to their liking. And while Apple has borrowed from Android recently (the use of homescreen widgets, the new customizable lock screen in iOS 16 are two examples), one Android feature Apple is adamant never to offer is the ability to sideload apps.

Android users have the option to install apps from third-party app stores. This is called sideloading, and Apple is under pressure from governments at home and abroad to allow it on the iPhone. The recently passed Digital Markets Act (DMA) in Europe could force Apple to allow sideloading on its devices (along with providing some sort of cross-platform messaging support and allowing third-party payment options for iOS apps). ).

Not that sideloading is without problems. Allowing the use of third-party app stores outside of Apple’s control can lead to iPhone users accidentally installing malware on their handsets. The Senate Judiciary Committee has called Apple’s stance on sideloading “baseless, unfair and unfair.” But Apple has returned the service with a strongly written letter of its own to the commission obtained by: 9to5Mac.
The letter, dated March 3, was signed by Timothy Powderly, Apple’s senior director of government affairs. “None seemed to use a ‘technical exploit’ to get on the device or perform the attack. These apps all worked within the security confines of the operating system, with no exploit needed.”

The letter states that Kaspersky security researchers came to the same conclusion. Kaspersky blamed the malware found on Android phones as a result of cyber criminals “passing a malicious application as another popular and desirable one.”

Apple asks Congress to maintain the status quo

You can read what’s going on here. In an effort to defend its no-sideloading policy, Apple blames sideloading for all of Android’s malware problems. Apple’s Powderly wrote: “On Android, apps offered outside the official store and claiming to help protect users’ security are found to be malware with some regularity. For example, it was recently discovered that a
The Android app that claimed to be a two-factor authenticator was also used to deliver malware designed to steal sensitive financial data from the user.”

In a comment to cryptographer Bruce Schneier, who told lawmakers that Apple’s concerns about sideloading were “unfounded,” the letter states: “Mr. Schneier is correct that ‘advanced malware’, often used by state-sponsored attackers, can disrupt device security. But on the iPhone, such sophisticated malware is highly complex, costs millions of dollars to develop, and often has a short shelf life.While Apple works hard to protect users from every threat, including this type of malware, the vast majority of the users will never be the target of such attacks.”

Apple adds: “To focus the discussion on this rare threat ignores what hurts millions of users every day on other mobile platforms: social engineering attacks, a threat that the Apple App Store has suppressed incredibly effectively.” The letter ends with a message addressed to lawmakers: “We hope Congress will preserve consumers’ ability to choose the safest option for themselves and their families.”

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