Security journalist: Goodbye, Android, hello Apple iPhone!

“Last week, I was hanging out with some hackers and security experts at a conference in Brooklyn when I took out my Sony phone. ‘Oh! The journalist uses Android. That’s secure!’ said one guy next to me, in a highly sarcastic tone,” Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai writes for Motherboard, where, among other things, he covers hacking and information security. “I dismissed his sarcasm, even though, as someone who writes about information security, I knew that deep down he was right. Just a few days later, his joke now seems almost premonitory.”

“As you might have heard, a security researcher revealed on Monday that a series of bugs deep inside Android’s source code allow hackers to hack and spy on users with a simple multimedia message. If you’re worried your Android device might be vulnerable to these bugs, collectively known as Stagefright, well, I’ve got bad news for you. It probably is. In fact, as many as 950 million phones likely are,” Franceschi-Bicchierai writes. “I didn’t know about Stagefright last week, obviously, but I knew Android’s security wasn’t great. Still, I ignored the sarcastic dude because, frankly, I’m a fanboy and a contrarian.”

“I’ve been antagonistic with Apple products ever since I was a teenager, when Apple used to try to shove its apps down my throat (cough iTunes cough) whenever I just wanted to watch a movie trailer on Quicktime. I never liked Apple’s walled garden and ‘we-control-everything’ approach, and I particularly disliked Apple fanboys’ dumb ‘oh my god there’s a new iThing coming out’ reverence and hysteria. So when the original iPhone came out a few years ago, I swore in multiple heated discussions with friends and strangers that I’d never buy an iPhone. Since then, I’ve only owned Android phones. First a few HTC ones, now a Sony phone,” Franceschi-Bicchierai writes. “Well, I’m sick of it. And I’m ready to go to the dark side.”

MacDailyNews Take: You mean the light. Welcome to the light. Don’t worry, you’ll finally come to your senses rather quickly from here on out.

“I can’t take it anymore for one simple, but really fundamental, reason,” Franceschi-Bicchierai writes. “As security researcher Nicholas Weaver put it in a (now deleted) tweet, ‘Imagine if Windows patches had to pass through Dell and your ISP before they came to you? And neither cared? That is called Android.’ …This is the fundamental difference between Android and iPhone. When there’s a bug on iOS, Apple patches it and can push an update to all iPhone users as soon as it’s ready, no questions asked.”

“So what should you do if you own an Android phone?” Franceschi-Bicchierai writes. “You can give up, switch to Apple and buy an iPhone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If this guy thinks that’s the only reason to upgrade from a pretend iPhone to the real thing, he’s in for a veritable cornucopia of delightful surprises. As we’ve always been in the light – Day One Macintosh, iMac, OS X, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch users – we can only imagine how utterly amazed Lorenzo is going to be! Write about your experience, Lorenzo; it’s sure to be stunning.

Welcome, Lorenzo! Welcome to the walled garden! Wander in the wilderness no longer. Welcome to the communal anticipation of the next flagship iPhone, the world’s best smartphone, from the inventors of the modern smartphone! Welcome to the freedom from cheap knockoffs that can never hope to approximate the real deal! Welcome to security and privacy! Welcome to real, off-the-charts user satisfaction! Welcome to build quality with which you are certainly not familiar! Welcome to apps that were designed expressly for iPhone, not inferior, watered-down versions ported roughly from those original iPhone apps to lesser platforms. Welcome to the end of sniveling equivocation and excuses. Welcome to the real thing: Touch ID, Apple Pay, iMessage, FaceTime video and audio, quality photos and videos, superior custom 64-bit processors, actual customer support from the accountable maker of not just your iPhone, but its operating system, too. Welcome to so very, very much more!

Yes, you’ve been stupid. Yes, you’ve been petulant and irrational. Yes, you’ve wasted a lot of time and money. Yes, you’ve been unnecessarily stymied and frustrated. Yes, you’ve risked your security and privacy in umpteen ways. Yes, you’ve slammed Apple while ironically carting around ugly, battery-hogging junk whose core purpose was to attempt to mimic Apple’s revolutionary iPhone. No matter. It’s finally all behind you now.

Welcome, Lorenzo, welcome into the light!

950 million Android phones can be hijacked by malicious text messages – July 27, 2015
New Android malware strains to top 2 million by end of 2015 – July 1, 2015
Symantec: 1 in 5 Android apps is malware – April 25, 2015
Kaspersky Lab Director: Over 98% of mobile malware targets Android because it’s much, much easier to exploit than iOS – January 15, 2015
Security experts: Malware spreading to millions on Android phones – November 21, 2014
There’s practically no iOS malware, thanks to Apple’s smart control over app distribution – June 13, 2014
F-Secure: Android accounted for 99% of new mobile malware in Q1 2014 – April 30, 2014
Google’s Sundar Pichai: Android not designed to be safe; if I wrote malware, I’d target Android, too – February 27, 2014
Cisco: Android the target of 99 percent of world’s mobile malware – January 17, 2014
U.S. DHS, FBI warn of malware threats to Android mobile devices – August 27, 2013
Android app malware rates skyrocket 40 percent in last quarter – August 7, 2013
First malware found in wild that exploits Android app signing flaw – July 25, 2013
Mobile Threats Report: Android accounts for 92% of all mobile malware – June 26, 2013
Latest self-replicating Android Trojan looks and acts just like Windows malware – June 7, 2013
99.9% of new mobile malware targets Android phones – May 30, 2013
Mobile malware exploding, but only for Android – May 14, 2013
Mobile malware: Android is a bad apple – April 15, 2013
F-Secure: Android accounted for 96% of all mobile malware in Q4 2012 – March 7, 2013
New malware attacks Android phones, Windows PCs to eavesdrop, steal data; iPhone, Mac users unaffected – February 4, 2013

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “petelp,” and “Theo Belk” for the heads up.]


    1. Now if only the irrational iTunes haters would just come around. The ones that most assuredly, without a doubt know better than Apple Engineers. The crazy ones that think they are “the crazy ones”. NO! You are not the crazy ones. You are just crazy.

      Oh, it just doesn’t work, oh it’s a hot mess, oh it’s a toxic hellstew, oh it’ doesn’t have a special window for the only way I know how to edit playlists. Vomit!

          1. Except when they aren’t trolls at all, but sardonic humourists shooting down self-professed power users burdened by an overweening sense of entitlement.

          2. So someone who presents an experience that contradicts the majority (and you) is a troll?

            That’s good to know. It’s a very mature way to look at the world.

        1. Oh, so you are the one with the ADD about how iTunes playlists work?

          BTW, do you really think of yourself as so important so others might think of “reading your every word”? Really? Until now, I knew there was some twit out there who cannot edit a playlist. Know I know who that twit is.

          1. No, most people here probably don’t remember (or care) what I previously posted in an entirely different article about an entirely different topic. But I’m amused that YOU do… You obviously picked my post to reply to, with a VERY specific (completely unrelated) comment about “editing playlists.” What’s that got to do with an Android user switching to iPhone? If THAT is coincidental, it makes you look a bit insane. But fine, if you say so, you’re looney tunes.

            Please keep reading all of my comments. 🙂

  1. Steve Jobs understood far more than Eric Schmidt could imagine about what the trend of personal mobile comm-devices required to succeed long term.

    I am astounded that Google has not addressed the problem with its licensees by this point as they both have self interest in solving the security problems. Since they haven’t solved Android problems, I have to assume they really don’t give a crap about their customers.

    Peter Drucker is rolling over in his grave.

    1. Google doesn’t care, because of the mentality of most mobile phone makers (and wireless carriers). Once the sale is made, it’s “out of sight, out of mind.” What you get when you buy it is what you get for the product’s life. A mobile phone (smart or not) is just a “device.”

      Apple treats iPhone like a computer, because it is a computer. It was a VERY smart move by Apple (back when iPhone got started) to insist that they (Apple) get to keep a DIRECT customer relationship. It allows software updates when Apple decides. It allows Apple to fully control its own App Store. It gives all iPhone customers essentially the same high-quality user experience. Wireless carriers just provide the “pipes.”

      1. Ken, actually Google *only* cares about *after* the “sale” of a device running Android. Google gets nothing from that initial sale, but makes all their money from tracking Android users’ actions to tailor advertising that they can sell — and make obscene amounts of money doing so.

        Apple has a very different business model, they sell the device and give away the software (much like the early Macs where after a purchasing a Mac for several years you could walk into any Apple authorized dealer with a stack of floppies and copy the new version of Mac System Software for free). Apple is, and has been since the early 80s, a software company that sells hardware as a distribution tool for its software.

        It is a strange business model that the vast majority in the from the 80s through today thought would never work. And, to date, no one has been able to duplicate — or even come close.

        1. But Google can’t overcome the mentality of the phone makers, so they don’t try as hard to improve things like security. For Google, a sale is a sale, whether it comes from Samsung or LG or some other Android phone maker. Google only loses when the sale goes to Apple, and it’s not really a “loss” since iPhones provide ad revenue to Google too. In fact, because iPhone users typically do more with their phones, Google may make MORE ad revenue from one iPhone users versus one Android user. Google seems to be OK with that relatively small impact because new customers buy cheap smartphones with Android. Therefore, Google has no major motivation to improve customer experience beyond keeping it adequate (“good enough”).

          For Apple, keeping the customer happy is everything. Apple makes 100% of iPhones, and mainly profits from selling the hardware. It is absolutely essential that they come back and buy another iPhone, or it’s a lost sale. THAT is why Apple tries harder to improve things like security. Apple’s motivation and the customer’s desire are closely aligned.

    2. Peter Drucker is rolling over in his grave.

      He’s been spinning in his grave for decades. So many biznizziz these days don’t want to know his business philosophies ever existed. Witness the current rise of what I can only call Neo-Feudalism. Let’s leap back a millennium in management methods and business process comprehension. Oh and so much more.

  2. And the hits keep coming. Sooner or later they all see the light.

    The guy next to me at work always said if Macs are so great then why does the whole world run on windows. He also said his daughter hated her iPhone. Of course I had to correct his two entirely misguided fallacies.

    To make a long story short; last year he bought an iPhone 6 and just last week said it’s the best phone hrs ever owned. To which I replied simply I TOLD YOU SO, followed by so when are you getting a Mac so I can say it again. 😉

    1. The so-called walled garden exists not because Apple is an über-controlling Super Nanny, who evilly prevents you from doing whatever the hell you want, but rather is a benevolent curator who protects the majority of its customers, ordinary users who are contemptuously dismissed by the digital intelligentsia as the unwashed.

    2. I’ve never thought of it as a ‘walled garden’. Rather that Apple built its house on stilts, knowing that tides rise and fall and tsunamis happen; whereas Windows and Android just have to scrabble around like headless chickens, patching constantly leaking defences with chicken wire and sand.
      Imagine if America’s defence strategy was similarly run?
      Oh wait…

  3. How many word processing programs “Apps” does one NEED to compose a letter? Word Perfect will Do. In a pinch.
    There are more programs for Windoze 95 blah FUNKIN’ BLAH Eat Crow Billy Squared X Mikey Ass Bag DELL LOSER!

  4. I don’t believe in journalists. Tomorrow he’ll return to android. They have big ego. They are ‘superiors’, ‘unbiased’, not blinded by the light. hypocrisy is their blood.

  5. Better a walled garden then an open red light district on a device that has access to your personal and financial information.

    “And neither cared? That is called Android.”
    That just about says it all.

  6. Told You So!

    So much for Apple being ‘The Dark Side’. I could make jokes, but Android is seriously sad. Thankfully, there is the superior alternative, the progressive move, the forward migration.

    Google: You must be gouging your own eyes out at this point. Poor, sad Oedipus. Karma bit you back. You got sooooo screwed.

    1. Then there are those switchers from Android (or first-time buyers of a mobile device) who won’t touch anything Apple with a ten foot pole, and go for a Windows phone or tablet.

      1. The ideal is choice and competition in the marketplace. I’d rather there were actual innovative, inventive, creative choices. That only sort of happened with Android, which has been proven in court to be a ripoff of various technologies from Microsoft to Oracle. It GUI is blatantly ripped off from iOS. The security sucks. Result: A lousy choice.

  7. Derek Currie: “So many biznizziz these days don’t want to know his business philosophies ever existed.”

    How very very true. Drucker said the purpose of a business was to obtain and keep customers, profit was the result of solid execution. That philosophy has been turned on its head, with the result that profit is the end product and the customer simply a mark from whom profit is to be extracted.

    Apple gets it right. Most of the time.

  8. The public should be aware of the consequences when doing business with companies that deploy Android devices in the field. Personal information like credit card numbers and other data could be siphoned if a company’s Android phones or tablets have been compromised. For example, credit card numbers that are verbally spoken over the phone or entered into proprietary software could be captured and exploited by the hacker.

    To be safe, the public should never do business with companies that deploy Android phones.


    New vulnerability can put Android phones into permanent vegetative state
    Malformed video files can be used to crash half of all Android phones.

    Researchers have developed an attack that puts more than 50 percent of Android phones into the digital equivalent of a persistent vegetative state in which they’re almost completely unresponsive and are unable to perform most functions, including making or receiving calls.

    The vulnerability, which resides in the mediaserver service Android uses to index media files, can most easily be exploited by luring a vulnerable phone to a booby-trapped website. . . .

    The vulnerability is caused by an integer overflow when the mediaserver service parses an MKV file. It reads memory out of buffer or writes data to NULL address when parsing audio data.

    OMG Google. OMG. (O_o) 😥 😭

    1. It’s all about perspective.

      From the open source perspective, Android is ‘sort-of’ open, despite Google having a total stranglehold on it and it only being directly compatible with Google phones. So from the ‘freeTard’ or the sincerely open source promoting perspective, Apple’s totally closed iOS (despite the fact that it is based on an open source OS called BSD UNIX) is ‘dark’.

      And of course from the perspective of anyone requiring security on their phone, it’s either Blackberry or iOS at this point. Every other phone OS I know of has been hacked or has wide open security holes… Hello Android. What I’d call particularly DARK about Android is the fragmentation. It means that if Google even bothers to patch these two whopping huge security holes recently found in Android, less than half of current Android phones will even be able to use those patches. That means that for millions of Android phone users, their devices are permanent malware and hacking magnets with two remarkably easy way for the phones to either be either hacked or made comatose. THAT is what I personally call Severely Dark.

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