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iPhone and Android Security. James Shore COP 5611. iPhone and Android Security. Many security features are common to both systems Screen locking, access passcodes Network security and encryption (WEP, WAP, etc) There are also fundamental decision affecting the security of the systems

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Iphone and android security

iPhone and Android Security

James Shore

COP 5611

Iphone and android security1
iPhone and Android Security

  • Many security features are common to both systems

    • Screen locking, access passcodes

    • Network security and encryption (WEP, WAP, etc)

  • There are also fundamental decision affecting the security of the systems

    • Open vs. Closed Source

    • Freely distributable applications

  • Neither system is without its weaknesses

    • Both systems suffered from SMS based vulnerabilities

    • Both systems suffered from web browser based vulnerabilities

Fundamental differences
Fundamental Differences

  • Open Source (Android) vs. Closed Source (iPhone)

    • The open source nature of Android makes it easier for would be attackers to find faulty code

    • It also makes it easier for the community to contribute fixes

    • Closed source means fewer eyes on the code, for better or worse

  • Available Applications

    • Android can install applications found outside the app store

      • Pro: Increased freedom for the user

      • Con: Increased freedom for the user

    • Acceptance into the Android app store is less rigorous

      • Pro: Easier for developers to make applications available

      • Con: May allow lower quality applications

Fundamental differences1
Fundamental Differences

  • Available Applications

    • Acceptance into the iPhone app store is a long and scrutinizing process

      • Pro: Ideally only high-quality, safe applications would be allowed

      • Con: Many legitimate apps may be rejected; Increased difficulty for developers to make their apps available; limits the choice of what users can run on their own devices

Fundamental differences2
Fundamental Differences

  • Application Signing

    • The iPhone uses signing as a way of controlling which applications can run on the device

    • Android uses signing mainly for developer identification and relationships between applications

  • Application Signing

    • Android signing requires no certifying authority; many applications are “self-signed”

      • Pro: Gives developers freedom and control over their own applications

      • Con: No outside authority to verify the validity of an application

    • iPhone developers must request certification; iPhone signing is used to verify


  • Flaws in the Core multimedia application framework of Android allowed remote control of the browser, allowing access to saved credentials and history, February 2009

  • “Fuzzing the Phone in your Phone,” July 2009

    • Paper described methods to crash the window management application on the iPhone as well as kick both iPhone and Android devices from their networks

      • Android phones were kicked permanently from the network if the SIM card had a PIN set

  • iPhone could be taken over by malicious SMS messages

  • iPhone could be taken over by visiting malicious website which crashed the browser, August 2007

  • Conclusion

    • Both systems have their strengths and weaknesses

    • The iPhone has a much larger user base  more likely to be exploited

    • References

      • http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/vulnerabilities/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=218800192

      • http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/android_vulnerability_so_dangerous_shouldnt_use_web_browser.php

      • http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/security/security.html

      • http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3754

      • http://securityevaluators.com/content/case-studies/iphone/