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Kaspersky CTO says Apple must open iOS, has vested interest

updated 04:00 pm EDT, Fri June 17, 2011

AV maker Kaskpersky wants iOS opened up

Kasperksy's chief technical officer Nikolay Grebennikov in a discussion Friday argued that Apple had a mandate to open iOS to non-App Store titles. He believed that Apple "simply can't continue" with its contained approach and, to eliminate the drubbing in market share, had to loosen restrictions. In spite of Apple's self-contained system keeping out rogue apps, he told Computing he didn't believe the company could properly contain malware and needed antivirus firms like Kaspersky to take care of the code.

"Apple is the only protector of its iPhone and iPad users but they don't know the real situation with threats," Grebennikov said. "It's not possible to create the products they create, and be a world leader in security too; that expertise is elsewhere."

The comments came in spite of no visible malware on stock iOS. While questions have been raised about the power of iOS and anti-competitive action by limiting most users signed apps from the App Store, the only known instances of hostile code have targeted jailbroken iPhones, where code signing limits are turned off. Some have suggested that Apple should follow a model closer to that HP uses for webOS, where developers are allowed to offer apps outside of the official app store but have to get a very basic signing requirement in case malware or legal requirements force HP to take action.

Kaspersky as an anti-malware developer also has a bias in making the argument since it can't sell its apps to iOS users with the current policies. Opening the app restrictions would simultaneously raise the likelihood of malware attacks and help feed Kasperky's business.

On Android, meanwhile, malware has been a growing problem. Most of the issues have come from apps outside Android Market that Google can't control. Some, though, have been masked in legitimate apps on Android Market that could do damage to casual users.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007



    First assumption is that Apple is driven by market share.
    Second assumption is that Apple currently needs an antivirus product on iOS.

    Both wrong. If the first assumption were to become true, then the second assumption would then likely become true in a short period of time.

    Here's an idea. Market your product to the jail breakers. Might have a chance of grabbing early mind share. Also, what is wrong with the Android market that he feels so compelled to weasel his way onto iOS?

  1. DrSkywalker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2011


    comment title

    Laughable. "we want Apple to create a new market for us by lowering their standards.". Really?

  1. facebook_Greg

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2011


    We want money too!

    "It's not possible to create the products they create, and be a world leader in security too; that expertise is elsewhere."

    When you have $65-75 billion in cash alone, you can be the expert in whatever the h*** you want.

  1. bleee

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Mar 2002


    There is a market place for Kasperksy's

    They can sell their software to all the people with Jailbroken iPhones.

  1. neocyberdude

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2000


    Makes me laugh

    This Grebennikov guy looks like he's about 12 years old.

  1. worksafe

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2010


    Business must be slow for Anti Software Makers

    Anti Virus maker Kaspersky and other manufactures in the anti virus software industry can't stop malware any better than Apple can. After the fact, maybe, but until the anti software industry has a potent way of stopping viruses and malware from entering the stream, then they should'nt expect Apple to open up their code to them.

    Kaspersky CTO should cry on someones else's shoulder.

  1. makemineamac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    He looks like the dancing baby from Ally McBeal...

    Anyway, I'm sure Apple doesn't need guidance of any sort from these guys right now. Not in the foreseeable future either. Try Again.

  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Far more obvious...

    Kaspersky have a vested interest in the prevalence and persistence of malware and viruses so... is it such a leap to consider that they might play both sides of the fence?

  1. ViktorCode

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006



    What an attitude towards Apple can you expect from an antivirus maker? Riiiiight.

  1. Salty

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jul 2005



    Seriously dude, your company that nobody's ever heard of is going to tell Apple what they need to do? I think you forgot the part where they're a huge company with tons of products and a really great reputation for security and you're ... or right, that guy I've never heard of it.

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