Apple is one of the leading tech companies and has been setting trends since its initial formation. The Silicon Valley-based company is known for its top-notch devices and stellar OS. The latest OS update the iOS 15 was met with much praise despite the initial hiccups which were caused by battery drainage. The update came with a plethora of features making the update one of the most ambitious by the tech juggernaut.
Recently, the company is facing massive pressure from private companies as well as governments to allow sideloading on iOS. Apple has retaliated by releasing a new security report today that delves into real-world facts on how malware affects mobile devices. Along with studies indicating that Android has between 15 and 47 times the amount of viruses as the iPhone,
Apple is bolstering its case against sideloading with statistics and suggestions from the US Department of Homeland Security, the European Agency for Cybersecurity, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Norton, and others.
As proposed legislation in the United States, Europe, and other countries aims to force Apple to enable sideloading on iOS, the firm has released a new security analysis today that explains why it believes opening up the App Store is a bad idea mainly due to the high risks of malicious malware resulting into non-consensual data sharing. The paper released today is a follow-up to a guide it released in June on the advantages of its curated App Store.
The new report, titled “Building a Trusted Ecosystem for Millions of Apps – A Threat Analysis of Sideloading,” is a 28-page document that covers topics such as the current mobile threat landscape, a snapshot of common consumer mobile malware, how mobile malware attacks to access devices, risks of opening the iOS ecosystem, the limited mechanism to distribute apps outside of the App Store, the impact of sideloading on iOS, sideloading and iOS users, and security expert advice.
Apple reiterates that allowing iOS to sideloading will “cripple the privacy and security measures that have made iPhone so secure, and expose consumers to substantial security concerns,” according to the company. Furthermore, the first page highlights Nokia statistics from 2019 and 2020 that reveal malware on Android devices that support sideloading has increased 15 to 47 times in the last four years compared to iPhone.
Apple also believes that if iOS is compelled to open up the ecosystem, even customers who don’t want to sideload apps could be at risk. Another issue raised by Apple is those who would try to imitate the App Store or use freebies to persuade people to sideload programs.
Recent Android trojans including Banker.BR, TeaBot, and BlackRock, the latter of which steals login credentials from 450 online services while posing as the popular Clubhouse app, are also mentioned in the latest Apple report. “Sideloading would make it easier and cheaper to conduct many attacks that are today difficult and costly to perform on iOS,” according to the corporation, and would open the door to damaging consumers, businesses, developers, and advertising.