As you may have heard, anti-virus companies have been drumming the beat that malware on Android are growing in an exponential way, and that you should buy their product to protect yourself. Not so fast says Chris DiBona, Google’s open-source programs manager, who posted a long Google+ update about Android, security and open source.
He eloquently defends the principles of open-source, which detractors say is an invitation for trouble as everyone can peek at the source-code. But more importantly, he downplays (if not dismisses) the “virus problem” on Android, at least in relative terms. “No major cell phone has a ‘virus’ problem in the traditional sense that windows and some Mac machines have seen” he says – rightfully in my opinion.While it’s true that smartphone don’t have the same “virus problem” than PC and Macs can have, it’s because their operating system are built to contain each app in its own space, preventing it from accessing other resources of the phone. Chris DiBona agrees that nothing is unbreakable, but argues that the security issues is being inflated by antivirus companies, which he calls ” charlatans and scammers “. He adds: “IF you work for a company selling virus protection for android, rim or IOS you should be ashamed of yourself.”
In the end, I would argue that security on smartphones is much stronger than on desktop, and that ultimately, the user is usually the weak link when it comes to malware. Read his post on Google+.