“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.]