Apple’s iPhone line of smartphones remains popular among consumers. Regretably, they’re also popular among a less savory group, hackers. Business Insider recently documented on a new study that discovered that the iPhone stands as the most hacked mobile device. And most surprising? It’s not close – the iPhone is the most hacked by a whole lot.
Business Insider reports on the recent study “25 Years of Vulnerabilities” by Web security firm SourceFire. The report tracks how many Critical Vulnerabilities – better known as CREs – experienced by a variety of devices and software. When it came to mobile devices, Apple’s iPhone line had suffered far more hacks than did every other. The SourceFire report found 210 CVE reports on iPhone devices. By comparison, it found just 24 for Android devices.
What’s behind the discrepancy? Why should the iPhone suffer so many more hack attacks? There isn’t one simple answer. Business Insider, though, wonders whether the ongoing popularity of the iPhone is behind the higher numbers. Naturally, it makes sense that hackers would like to target the most popular mobile devices. There’s a problem with this argument, though. Last year, the popularity and market share of Android-powered mobile devices soared. But even though this happened, the number of CVE reports on Android devices actually fell. So as the devices have become more popular, they actually suffered fewer attacks.
A recent interview with the SourceFire report author on the ZDNet Web site proposes another reason for the high number of iPhone hacks: Hacking the iPhone might represent a challenge worthy of the most talented hackers. Consider how Android devices work. They make use of an open platform. Consequently developers could easily create malicious third-party apps that users can download themselves onto their phones. That’s not much of a challenge for hackers. But hacking the iPhone, which does not boast an open platform? That’s a real test of a hacker’s skill.