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Kaspersky: Apple is blocking iPhone security software

Eugene Kaspersky

By Barry Collins

Posted on 11 Mar 2010 at 14:24

Eugene Kaspersky has claimed Apple is blocking attempts to bring third-party security software to the iPhone.

Speaking exclusively to PC Pro, the CEO of Kaspersky Lab claimed Apple has repeatedly refused to deliver the software development kit (SDK) necessary to design security software for the phone.

"We have been in contact for two years with Apple to develop our anti-theft software, [but] still we do not have permission," said Kaspersky.

Kaspersky already offers security software for Symbian and Windows Mobile phones, and will soon offer applications for both BlackBerry and Android. And although he admits the risk of viruses infecting the iPhone is "almost zero", he claims that securing the data on the handset is critical, especially as iPhones are increasingly being used for business purposes.

"Are you OK to lose your address list?" The Russian asked. "I'm not. It's a risk to lose the data. Anti-theft is a major component [of Kaspersky's software]."

"I don't want to say Apple's is the wrong way of behaving, or the right way," Kaspersky added. "It's just a corporate culture - it wants to control everything".

Apple was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

End of Apple's reign?

Kaspersky claimed Apple's closed-shop approach will eventually see the company knocked off its smartphone pedestal. "If Apple doesn't change its mind, it will lose market share and become a niche player."

He said Apple's repeating the mistakes it made in the computer market, where it lost out to Microsoft, which encouraged developers to write for the Windows platform. "Apple has a three-year timeframe to become the new Microsoft," he said. "If I were Steve Jobs, I'd spend those three years building a software community around Apple."

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User comments

Niche player

I always thought Apple was a niche player

*Runs for cover*

By greemble on 11 Mar 2010

Since any virus writer would need to sumbit it to Apple for moderation...

..its a bit pointless.

The only iPod virus' have been on jail-broken handsets, so maybe Kapersky should be peddling an anti-virus app to jail-break websites?

By cheysuli on 11 Mar 2010

@cheysuli

It helps to read the article before commenting

Especially the part "risk of viruses infecting the iPhone is "almost zero", he claims that securing the data on the handset is critical..."

By greemble on 11 Mar 2010

There IS iPhone Security

We released an iPhone/iPod security solution with Apple's blessing on March 1. Details at www.MobileActiveDefense.Com

Can't explain Kaspersky's problems, except to note the solution is NOT easy, and does not work like traditional A/V methods.

By WinnSchwartau on 11 Mar 2010

There IS iPhone Security

We released an iPhone/iPod security solution with Apple's blessing on March 1. Details at www.MobileActiveDefense.Com

Can't explain Kaspersky's problems, except to note the solution is NOT easy, and does not work like traditional A/V methods.

By WinnSchwartau on 11 Mar 2010

I think Kaspersky reckons we all have Generalised Anxiety Disorder and would all feel better paying him.

In life we all run the risk of living... and an iPhone comms style is part of that.

If you are really serious about security of personal data... back it up encrypted... do not let ANYONE see it... and use professional crypto equipment for comms.

Remember that nothing can ever be 100% safe but kept as safe as practical.

By lenmontieth on 11 Mar 2010

There IS iPhone Security

We released an iPhone/iPod security solution with Apple's blessing on March 1. Details at www.MobileActiveDefense.Com

Can't explain Kaspersky's problems, except to note the solution is NOT easy, and does not work like traditional A/V methods.

By WinnSchwartau on 11 Mar 2010

Wot, no story on F-Secure's finding that Adobe Reader is the current favourite attack target of hackers with 61% of attacks? That's after last months findings by Scansafe that 80% of all attacks at the end of last year came from malware infected pdf files.

Macs don't need AV software, and iPhones are even more bolted down than OS X. Kaspersky is just chasing free publicity.

By SwissMac on 12 Mar 2010

I think Winn

has a point.

Kaspersky had the same problems with Apple's OS X desktop and with Windows Vista, before it was launched.

With Vista, they didn't get to use the same hooks within the Kernel, that they did with XP, because the method is insecure and opens the computer up to attack from malware as well.

Did the security companies try and find a new method of working, to keep the computer secure? No, they bellyached to the monopolies board and got Microsoft to open Vista back up to malware, so they didn't have to work out how to do things properly. (ISTR that Kaspersky weren't one of the bellyachers in this case.)

I think this is probably Kaspersky's problem with the iPhone, they are getting the standard dev kit and have to use the standard, published APIs. This means that their code has to work in the confines of Apple's framework, and if they break out of that framework, their App will be rejected, because it breaks the rules and has the potential to break the iPhone.

Instead of working out how to work within the rules, they complain and hope that Apple will weaken the platform and allow Kaspersky to write the code the ways he wants...

Add in the inevitable bloat of the security software and I wouldn't want to use such a phone...

I used Kaspersky for a couple of years, it was a great product on Windows, but it is now too top heavy and slows the machine down too much...

That said, we use GData at work and that cripples some file activities as well!

I've gone over to MS Security Essentials at home, not because it is free, but because it is light and reliable enough...

By big_D on 12 Mar 2010

Jeez! here we go again, a bunch of Apple lovers! I bet you are all convinced that the Ipad is a good product too! Seriously, how can you have such a strong opinion without all the facts, it would not be the first time Apple blocks(for it's own reasons) an app developer. That said Kaspersky using non standard hocks on the Windows has one of the best track of the anti virus market with 98,67% detection rate. or we could all just use the MobileActiveDefense the spammer above suggests! with their established track record I feel safe already. I do not want to defend Kaspersky, I just wanted to remind you all that the truth usually sits in the middle!

By sandman652001 on 12 Mar 2010

Macs don't need AV software

Really? So why does Apple advise that you do?

For the last time SwissMac - knock off the trolling, it's getting tedious

By greemble on 12 Mar 2010

@greemble

I don't bother with AV software on my Mac.

It is there, currently, to stop Mac users passing Windows viruses to Windows users.

I have my Windows machines protected and I keep an eye out for real problems with the Mac.

If a credible threat appears, I'll start using AV software on my Mac.

Given how crippling AV software is on a Windows PC, I hope that the day will come, when I can drop AV software from my Windows PC...

That said, in nearly 30 years in computing, I've yet to have one of my machines infected - I've received a couple of infected files, but managed to get spot them before the AV software did...

I really have a loathing for AV software. At work, it is so heavy, that none of the users have ever run a scan (in the last 10 years) and when I forced them to run a scan, half the network was infected...

But as the AV software takes over a day to scan 15GB of data and the users can't do anything whilst scanning, because the machines are so slow, I got ordered never to run a scan on the machines again!

(On my machine the same software takes about 20 minutes for 90GB of data)

Without the AV software, the machines are borderline usable, with AV software, they are just painful.

By big_D on 12 Mar 2010

Which AV?

You know some are worse than others - maybe the company needs to change it's av software.

Besides, SwissMac's usual fanboi comments were irrelevant (as the tend to be) to this (any) topic, as pointed out to cheysuli earlier.

By greemble on 12 Mar 2010

@greemble

We have tried most of them, currently we have GData Corporate, which replaced Symantec's corporate offering.

I will probably go to Trend, when it comes up for renewal.

GData started out fine, but it has become a tremendous hog over the last 3 or 4 months! And it constantly breaks and I spent 3 days last week trying to repair our mail server after their Mail Security suite nuked itself!

Evidently, it doesn't like DEP (the technology that stops code executing in data blocks, which is added to make systems more secure). We had to turn off that security feature, in order for the security software to run without corrupting itself! #fail

But on single core machines, with 256MB RAM, pretty much any AV software from the last 6 years is going to cripple it!

By big_D on 13 Mar 2010

There are lot of other pieces of software like "Safe" (pphnsft.com) where you can store data in. Put your address list in it and its safe.

By vinaya on 22 Sep 2010

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