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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Apple: Sideloading apps will undermine iOS security

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Following CEO Tim Cook’s statements on security at a recent conference, Apple has come out fighting to protect the security of its App Store distribution model, publishing a white paper that argues enforced side-loading of apps would make the platform — and its users — far less secure.

Security isn’t simple

It’s an argument that makes sense. Anyone involved in enterprise security already knows that the biggest security problem in any business is the people in the business. Humans make mistakes, and today’s generations of hackers and crackers have become pretty good at identifying and attacking individuals to help create cracks in the security of larger targets.

Apple’s argument – that permitting unconstrained side-loading of apps from third-party stores would create a new attack surface – makes complete sense. However, legislation currently under consideration in the EU and elsewhere proposes to make side loading mandatory.

It really shouldn’t happen.

What about the Mac, though?

Some argue that this is no different than the security model on the Mac, which permits app installs from a variety of sources. We know the platform has become an increasingly attractive target as its adoption grows.

Apple doesn’t agree that the Mac should be seen as a template for iOS app distribution. It argues not only that the iOS platform is 10 times larger than the Mac, but that there’s a difference in how we use these platforms:

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.



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