Apple attacks Android over its security

Apple continues to oppose looming antitrust legislation in the United States that could lead to major changes in theApp Store. A letter sent by Apple to the Senate Judiciary Committee specifically contradicts claims that the position anti sideloading of Apple is ” unfounded, misleading and dishonest. »

This letter from Apple to the Senate Judiciary Committee is dated March 3 and signed by Timothy Powderly, the company’s senior director of government affairs. The letter was sent in response to allegations by cryptographer Bruce Schneier, who told lawmakers that Apple’s security concerns related to the sideloading were “unfounded”.

In his own letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent in January, Schneier wrote:

“I would like to address some of the unfounded security concerns raised by these bills. It is simply untrue to say that this legislation endangers the privacy and security of users. In fact, it is more accurate to say that this legislation endangers the extractive business models of these companies. Their assertions about privacy and security risks are both false and misleading, and driven by self-interest, not the public interest. »

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Reuters was the first to report the response fromApple to Schneier. Apple explains that the accusations made by Schneier are ” particularly disappointing and prove that “even talented technicians can confuse issues surrounding sideloading:

Given our general esteem for Mr. Schneier, these accusations are particularly disappointing. In our experience, the work of delivering industry-leading security and privacy to a modern computing platform at the scale of a billion devices is among the most complex and challenging efforts in IT. engineering and technical policy, and much of this work remains easy to understand. Schneier’s letter points out that even talented technical practitioners, if they haven’t worked on key issues in this space, can confuse issues.


In its letter, Apple cites a number of different examples of third-party app stores containing malware infected apps and apps that collect user data. One of the examples cited by Apple concerns the Android ecosystem.

In the Android ecosystem, which matters 50 times more malware than iOSNokia found that “ the fact that android apps can be downloaded from just about anywhere is still a huge problem as users are free to download apps from third party app stores where many apps, although only functional, are Trojan horses. »

The letter continues:

In Nokia’s 2021 Threat Intelligence Report, Android devices accounted for 50.31% of all infected devices, followed by Windows devices (23.1%) and macOS devices (9.2%). iOS devices made up such a small percentage that it wasn’t even singled out, being categorized as ‘other’ instead. We consider this a triumph in protecting our users, and it could never have been done without the last line of defense of our device security controls, which work in tandem with the security of frontline and the privacy protections we provide to our users through the App Store and App Review.

As expected, Apple is also highlighting a number of protections offered by the App Storeincluding the review process, the tracking transparency apps and nutrition privacy labels. None of these measures would be possible with third-party app storessays Apple.

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