Apple’s top software engineer recently criticized the security of the company’s own Mac operating system while explaining why the company should not be forced to loosen its hold over iOS app distribution.
Bloomberg reports that Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi recently testified at a trial in federal court in Oakland, California, that his experience with malware viruses on MacOS systems showed that security would be eroded if the company allowed iPhone and iPad users to install software from independent sources.
The trial is part of Apple’s ongoing legal dispute with Epic Games, the makers of the popular Fortnite video game, which had its game removed from the Apple App Store after offering users alternative payment methods bypassing Apple’s payment processor.
Federighi stated in court: “Today we have a level of malware on the Mac that we don’t find acceptable.” This is largely due to the system allowing users to install software not vetted by Apple, according to Federighi. Allowing apps from other sources on the iPhone would create a “very, very bad situation for our customers,” including “a huge decrease in their safety,” Federighi stated.
He further added that iPhones and iPad have security protections including the App Store review process to keep the products free from malware.
Epic Games revealed in recent court documents that a senior Apple engineer compared the company’s App Store defenses against malicious actors and hackers to “bringing a plastic butter knife to a gunfight.”
The anecdote was cited by Epic Games in court documents and was based on internal documents quoting Eric Friedman, the head of Apple’s Fraud Engineering Algorithms and Risk unit.
Friedman also stated that Apple’s App Store review process for newly submitted apps was “more like the pretty lady who greets you… at the Hawaiian airport than the drug-sniffing dog.” Friedman was also quoted as saying that Apple was ill-equipped to “deflect sophisticated attackers.”
The comments from the senior Apple developer could hurt Apple’s case against Epic Games as the company argues that the 30 percent fee it charges on digital purchases within apps downloaded from the App Store is required to protect customers from malware and malicious apps.
Breitbart News recently reported that the iOS app developer Kosta Eleftheriou, who has previously called out Apple for its failure to properly police its app store and the prevalence of scam app across the platform, has filed a lawsuit against the hardware giant in California. Eleftheriou is accusing the company of exploiting its monopoly power over iOS apps “to make billions of dollars in profits at the expense of small application developers and consumers.”
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Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org