Apple has been very vocal — and critical — of sideloading of apps. Many have been demanding Apple to ‘open’ iOS and allow apps to be downloaded from third-party app stores or other sources. However, Apple has pushed back these demands and in October 2021, released a report which stated, “Supporting sideloading through direct downloads and third-party app stores would cripple the privacy and security protections that have made iPhone so secure, and expose users to serious security risks.”
Recently, a cryptographer Bruce Schneier, told US lawmakers that the security concerns Apple had been “unfounded”, as per a report by 9to5Mac. Schneier, in a letter written to the US Senate Judiciary Committee, stated about Apple, “Their claims about risks to privacy and security are both false and disingenuous, and motivated by their own self-interest and not the public interest.”
The report now quotes Apple’s response to the criticism and the company hasn’t held back in its criticism for sideloading of apps and took a shot at Android as well. In the Android ecosystem, which has 50 times more malware than iOS , 5 Nokia found that “the fact that Android applications can be downloaded from just about anywhere still represents a huge problem”, Apple said in a response to Schneier’s claims.
Apple further hit back at Schneier and said, “Given our general regard for Mr Schneier, these accusations are particularly disappointing,” before adding that, Schneider’s letter “underscores that even talented practitioners, if they have not worked on key problems in this space , can confound the issues.”
The Cupertino-based tech giant further cited Nokia’s 2021 threat intelligence report, which claimed that Android devices made up 50.31% of all infected devices, followed by Windows devices at 23.1%, and macOS devices at 9.2%. “iOS devices made up a percentage so small as to not even be singled out, being instead bucketed into “other”. We consider this a triumph in protecting our users, and it could never have been done without the industry-leading last line of defense of our device security controls, working in tandem with the front-line security and privacy protections we provide our users through the App Store and App Review,” argued Apple, as per the report by 9to5Mac.