Apple’s App Store offers more than 3,50,000 applications for iOS devices and according Symantec CEO it could be the next target for malware. In an interview with Bloomberg, Symantec’s CEO Enrique Salem cautioned against potential threats and challenges which Apple and Google could face as the mobile app market expands further.
Applications available from Apple Inc.’s App Store and Google Inc.’s Android Market are vulnerable to attacks by hackers who want information housed on handsets and tablet computers,
Smartphones and tablets store a lot of important information such as emails, photos, contacts and banking information. So, targeting these devices for malware attacks could pose a great threat for users in near future.
Even though Apple manually approves each application available on its App Store Symantec’s CEO highlighted the fact that:
“It’s very hard to completely vet everything,” Salem said. “It’s early in mobile security.”
Mac OS X recently became a target of malicious software called “MacDefender” which poses as an antivirus and tricks people to install the program. Apple was quick to release an update to stop the malware however, in less than 8 hours a new variant hit the web.
Last year in early August even iOS 4.0.1 users were exposed to a security hole which could allow anyone to gain unauthorized access to your device by hosting malicious pdf files on a website. An update (iOS 4.0.2) was released to fix the vulnerability however, this shows that no platform is completely secure.
Google’s market place has also been in the news because of malicious applications being available in the Android market which once installed could compromise user data. Those applications were removed from the store however, between 30,000 and 120,000 devices were reportedly affected.