toddlers with mobile phonesLast week at the RSA Conference I had the opportunity to attend the “Mobile Security Battle Royale“, featuring a great panel of experts on mobile phone security. Moderated by Zach Lanier, the panel featured Tiago Assumpção and Collin Mulliner paired off against Charlie Miller and Dino Dai Zovi (co-authors of iOS Hacker’s Handbook). 

As many great panels typically do, this panel featured no slides and no set talking points. Instead, Zach asked the panel some great questions to just get the ball rolling, and the panel started firing off great quotes left and right. I got busy live-tweeting the session and got (and re-tweeted) a few great quotes from many of the panel members which I have embedded below.

One of the recurring themes was “which is better”, comparing iOS to Android. BlackBerry/RIM got a few mentions as well since Tiago worked for RIM for a long time. The panelists did not come to any final conclusion, all the platforms have their benefits and their drawbacks. However, as a “battle royale”. there was a certain amount of desire from the moderator and the audience to declare a winner. My belief is that currently iOS is currently ahead, but the battle is close. The reason I’d tip my hat toward iOS at this time is for two reasons. First, it is slightly more expensive and difficult to get an app into the Apple App Store than Google Play, which makes things slightly more difficult for malware developers. Second, Apple iOS devices are generally running the latest version of the operating system, unlike the fractured Android ecosystem which has over half of the active devices running multiple major revisions behind.

Enjoy these quotes (paraphrased a little, I don’t have an eidetic memory) from this great panel discussion. I look forward to the rematch at next year’s conference.

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