Android Does Not Need Antivirus; Google Official Lashes Out at Vendors

January 28, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Google’s open source software team has come out in the open, criticizing firms selling antivirus software for Android and other mobile devices. The company has claimed that Android, iOS, and RIM Blackberry operating systems do not need antivirus software.

Chris DiBona, Google’s open-source Program Manager, while reacting to a press report attacking the inherent vulnerability of open-source software as used by both Android and Apple’s iOS, has clarified that in case you read a report from a vendor that tries to sell you something based on protecting Android, RIM or iOS from viruses that vendor could even be a scammer or a charlatan.

Calling upon such vendors selling virus protection for Android, RIM or IOS, he said they need to be ashamed of themselves.

The comment is sad to have been directed at Symantec, Intel’s McAfee F-Secure, and Kaspersky, among others selling anti-malware for the operating systems, though he did not mention any individual firms.

Chris DiBona

Although the mobile operating systems are not totally immune to threats, they are inherently more secure than PCs.

DiBona went on to say that no major cell phone has suffered virus problems the way that Windows and some Mac machines have done.

Security breaches that had occurred haven’t gotten very far due to the use of sandboxing models and the nature of the underlying kernels, he pointed out.

Here is the other side to the whole story.

Juniper Net had said last week that Android malware is on the rise, helped by a lack of reviews in the Android App Market.

McAfee had also recently warned that Android malware is becoming increasingly sophisticated, while Symantec warned of fake apps dressed up as genuine applications.

Now where does that leave users?

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