We have a long running series on 9to5Google called “Talking Schmidt” and the Chairman of Google keeps loading it up with amusing quotes on the technology industry.  Today’s comes from the Gartner Symposium where our pro/antagonist was asked by Gartner analyst David Willis about the security of Android (which has taken some hits lately to put it mildly).

To which Schmidt, without batting an eye, said:

“Not secure? It’s more secure than the iPhone.”

The comment drew laughter from the crowd, comprised largely of  CIOs and high level IT personnel. Keep in mind, this is the same quote-smith who forecasted Google TV would have taken over the market last year and called the iPad just a big iPhone.

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28 Responses to “Google Chairman Eric Schmidt on Android security: “Not secure? It’s more secure than the iPhone.””

  1. I came for CHIN and I was rewarded!!

  2. He should have better changed the subject or kept his mouth shut to say the least.

  3. Well, Steve Jobs told the iPad design team “It’s a big iPod Touch.” (Seriously, he did.)

  4. They’re both insecure and have rootkits / jailbreaks / known exploits to execute unsigned / unwanted / malicious code. iOS 7 hasn’t been jailbroken yet, but it will.

    • jailbreaking is totally different… your comment shows how many Apple haters are there… of course that does not matter

      • You’re right. An exploit to gain system access has nothing to do with security. Oh, wait.

      • Here! Here! When you jailbreak an iPhone, you open it up and make it susceptible to malicious code. The average iPhone user doesn’t do this, so they have a protected Sandbox, no to mention a single App Store for security purposes as well. Plus you can’t cold-attack an iPhone to obtain a PIN number to unlock it. Out of the box Android is a security threat to all users with it making up 79% of all infected mobile devices, with iOS sitting at just 0.7%, and even then it’s not known how many of those are jailbroken to have been opened up to that problem by users on purpose.

      • Well to be honest a jailbreak can only be deployed if they can find a way to compromise the OS in some way.

      • You’re 100% wrong. The iPhone is sandbox’ed by default (no side-loading, can only get apps from appstore, and all apps have to be approved so they are non-malicious) and will not run unsigned or malicious code. Jailbreaking allows the ability to run unsigned and (potentially) malicious applications. So, you can take someone’s iPhone that’s not JB’d — JB it, and get access to the entire filesystem. If that’s not a security flaw, I don’t know what is.

  5. s92543 says:

    When someone makes a boast or a claim like he has, he had better be able to prove his claim. He really cannot because every manufacturer plays with the OS and each has their own ‘security features’ that either replace those of Googles or supplements them!

    Furthermore, since the OS is open source all security features are available to the ‘hackers’ etc at source level. They don’t have to try and reverse engineer the code!

    Schmidt’s boast is like a call for every ‘computer group’ or whatever they want to call themselves to break whatever security is actually in the OS.

    In the case of security give me a closed walled garden type system any day. It may not be totally secure but at least the features are not published by the provider in source code.

  6. Yasin Cakal says:

    Thats Just Bull Schmidt!

  7. 311sie says:

    “Not secure? It’s more secure than the iPhone.” – What immediately followed was very detailed presentation with all the slides, charts and reports that would substantiate this claim… What? It didn’t? Oh…

  8. Ya ya ya Mr. Eric, we know how secure your system is, we have seen BBM apps already showed up in play store with so much security. he is waste of time

  9. That was a good joke. Android is like Windows among smartphones. Totally unsecure ;)

  10. Quickest way to deflect criticism from Anything A on to Anything A’s opposition is for the CEO/ President / Prime minister/ Party Leader to say “Anything B’s problems are much worse” – even if they’re not. Well known tactic.

    Mr Schmidt would do well to remember you can fool some of the people all of the time…

  11. I certainly don’t want to interrupt the lovely har-har in Schmidt’s direction (his current track record does warrant that), but, for what it’s worth, and purely in the interest of promoting substantiated discussions, in this case he actually had a ‘very detailed presentation with all the slides, charts and reports’ to go by. Just a few days ago, on 3 October, Adrian Ludwig (Android Security Chief) gave a presentation at the VB2013 conference in Berlin explaining the layers of security in Android and estimating the number of potentially harmful app installs. Look it up. (The resulting number was something like .001%, which included both Play Store installs and side-loaded installs.) I don’t think there was any current data on whether it’s ‘more secure than the iPhone’, so Schmidt is probably still being Schmidt here, but he’s certainly not the spin doctor you’re making him out to be.

  12. The swipe gestures on Androids is the easiest post code to remember when you accidentally see someone unlock their phone. I don’t think it’s secure at all. Not sure why it leaves a trail mark for all to see.

  13. This is the first act in Mr. Schmidt’s gradual transition to stand up comedy!

  14. Robert Dupuy says:

    Well – from the consumer perspective – Google Play does eliminate ‘fragmentation’ because you just log in and get whatever apps you want that are available for your phone. Fragmentation is a developer issue – not a consumer one.

    However, then he claims that Android is more secure than iPhone – suddenly switching perspectives, from that of consumer, to that of software engineer. It’s like Microsoft has so much code in Windows relating to security – because Windows is under constant attack. From the consumer perspective though, Windows is far less secure than Mac – because they are evaluating from the real world of whether malware is going to end up on their machine or not.

    Mr. Schmidt is being inconsistent, well the consistency is in trying to put Android in the best light. Clearly from the consumer perspective, Android is less secure than iPhone – because the malware is targeting Android.

  15. I’m usually in the middle when it comes to the whole Android vs Apple debate, but this one is funny. It takes 10 seconds to root an Android device and steal it’s data even with a passlock. iOS at least requires some effort to pop the passlock after jail breaking (though if you use a 4 digit pin you might as well not passcode protect your device…).

    Neither are that secure but Android by far is less secure and Apple is at lease trying to address these issues while Google seems to be doing little to nothing.

  16. He is like a child saying he is better because he got a C in a test and Stevie got C-. Both OSs are insecure.

  17. He’s follow up statement was “made the app store very compatible on the Android”, honestly I don’t see the connection of how is that answers Android is at least secure than an iPhone.