Google's open source programme manager Chris Dibona has hit out at mobile security firms, saying they should not only be ashamed of their work but that they were "likely as not to be scammers and charlatans."
Dibona got all riled up about security because he claims many articles are written on how inherently insecure open source platforms are. The early parts of the blog post (opens in new tab) explain that open source software is present in all the major mobile platforms like Android, iOS and BlackBerry OS and that operating systems like these only become popular if they take security seriously.
From there he provides what he terms a "cheat sheet" for those looking to write about open source in the future. Part of the list includes insights into the workings of the Android and iOS operating systems and a statement that all major vendors have to deal with applications that do "bad things," though these are simply discovered and then removed.
However, he got far more aggressive the further down the list you go. "No Linux desktop has a real virus problem," he begins, following it up with: "Yes, virus companies are playing on your fears to try and sell you 'bs' protection software for Android, RIM and iOS. They are charlatans and scammers. If you work for a company selling virus protection for Android, RIM or iOS you should be ashamed of yourself."
Dibona goes on to explain that the reason these companies and people involved are "charlatans" is because while traditional viruses are possible on phones, the sheer variety of handsets and the "barriers" between phones make it very difficult for malware to spread from user to user.
His only caveat to the bashing of mobile security was that policy engines and tools that manage corporate IT devices are "not the same thing at all," though he did say that the virus protection was still unnecessary and advised employees to tell vendors it was an unneeded part of the package.