Mobile devices have been often considered as more safe. Desktop and laptops, the theory goes, are far more vulnerable to hackers and cyber criminals. That’s true to some extent. But hackers are clever enough these days to compromise tablets and smartphones, as well. And there’s one specific mobile device that gets compromised a lot more often than every other. Reported by a recent story by Business Insider, it’s the iPhone which is the most hackable mobile device.

The most hacked

Business Insider cites research conducted recently by Web security firm SourceFire – “25 Years of Vulnerabilities” – in its story. As outlined by Source Fire, iPhones have registered 210 CVE – Critical Vulnerabilities – reports. In contrast, mobile devices powered by the Android operating system have just received 24 CVE reports. That’s a major difference.

What’s behind it?

What are the reasons for this? Why have hackers had such a field day with the iPhone while pretty much ignoring other mobile devices? There is no simple answer to this. But Business Insider marvels whether the iPhone might be targeted more often because of its popularity. In spite of everything, the device still maintains popular status in the tech world, and customers still flock to purchase each new edition of this device. Even so, this argument falls apart when examining the increasing popularity of Android-powered devices. As per the SourceFire report, the number of CVEs on Android devices actually dropped in 2012 when compared with 2011. And it was last year when Android’s market share – and the number of Android devices acquired – soared.

Going after the king

In an interview with the ZDNet Web site, the author of the SourceFire report ponders if hackers don’t target the iPhone more frequently because it’s more of a challenge. After all, Android relies on an open platform. This means that it’s relatively easy for criminals and scammers to create malicious apps for this platform. Users could then download them to their phones by themselves. Hacking the iPhone, which does not use an open platform, might be more challenging. And that may inspire the nation’s smartest hackers.

Photo credit: Devil Powers by brettneilson (CC BY 2.0)

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