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Symantec report on mobile security concludes iOS and Android both vulnerable to attacks

In Symantec’s bleak, dystopian world, it doesn’t matter whether you choose Android or iOS — you’ll be making yourself vulnerable to attacks regardless of the camp you’re in. The company just concluded a study pitting iOS’s security against Android’s — an undertaking intended mainly for corporate IT staffs trying to figure out which devices they can safely issue to employees. (Curiously, despite the enterprise focus, you won’t find a single comparison against BlackBerrys.) Although iOS won higher marks when it came to thwarting traditional malware and showed a more modest advantage in terms of data loss, data integrity, and service attacks, the two platforms proved equally adept at preventing web-based attacks — and equally powerless to catch socially engineered ones. And when it came to implementing certain security measures, such as permissions-based controls, Android pulled ahead.

Ultimately, Symantec (which sells mobile security software of its own, by the by) concluded that both “are still vulnerable to many existing categories of attacks,” not least because both platforms allow users to sync with third-party apps or web services that may or may not be secure themselves. Indeed, Symantec’s thesis is that Apple’s App Store approval process helps explain its lead in the malware-blocking department. Also, in shocking news, Symantec adds that people using jailbroken are especially attractive targets for attackers, and that these devices are as vulnerable as computers. Don’t say no one warned you.