'Charlatans' Said to Exaggerate Mobile Malware Fears


John E Dunn


Security vendors are behaving like "charlatans and scammers" by peddling antivirus apps to protect consumers from smartphone malware, Google's open source champion Chris DiBona says in an uncompromising attack on the industry.

In recent weeks, antivirus vendors including Kaspersky Lab, McAfee and even infrastructure companies Juniper Networks and IBM, have highlighted the claimed menace posed by malware on Android in particular, which might explain the Google engineer's feistiness.

"Virus companies are playing on your fears to try to sell you bs protection software for Android, RIM and IOS. They are charlatans and scammers," writes DiBona in a blog. "IF you work for a company selling virus protection for android, rim or IOS you should be ashamed of yourself."

"No major cell phone has a 'virus' problem in the traditional sense that windows and some Mac machines have seen. There have been some little things, but they haven't gotten very far due to the user sandboxing models and the nature of the underlying kernels."

"Yes, a virus of the traditional kind is possible, but not probable. The barriers to spreading such a program from phone to phone are large and difficult enough to traverse when you have legitimate access to the phone," DiBona said.

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