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Smartphone Developments

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iOS is the mobile operating system developed by Apple Inc. According to Perlow (2012) and (Ahmad Dar., 2014) it is the second most commonly used operating system behind Google’s Android. Unlike Android it can be installed only on Apple’s hardware. The iPhone OS has seen a rapid rise in popularity and garnered a large and dedicated user base. According to Ryan and Haskin (2008) the iPhone OS has risen so far and so fast primarily due to the innovations on user interface and availability of 3rd party applications. Unlike the Android security architecture, iOS security model provides different philosophy for achieving mobile device security and user’s protection. Perlow (2012) and Daniel’s excellent study (2007) included that the iOS application platform empowers developers to create new applications and to contribute to the application store. However, each application submitted by a third-party developer is sent to the revision process.

During the revision process the application code is analysed by professional developers who make sure that the application is safe before it is released the application store however in Daniel’s research (2007) it also said that such an application, when installed, gets all the permissions on a mobile device. Application might access local camera, 3G/4G, Wi-Fi or GPS module without user’s knowledge. While Android lets each user handle its own security on their own responsibility, the iOS platform makes developers to write safe code using iOS secure APIs and prevents malicious applications from getting into the app store. (Delac, Silic and Krolo, 2011) The iOS security APIs are located in the Core Services layer of the operating system and are based on services in the Core OS (kernel) layer of the operating system. Apple Inc (2016) along with a paper published (Kataria, Anjali and Venkat, 2014) said that Application that needs to execute a network task, may use secure networking functions through the API called CFNetwork, located in the Core Services layer. The Security Server has no API with public access. Instead, applications use the Keychain Services API, the Certificate, Key, and Trust services API, which in turn gets access with the Security Server.

Research by Padrithi (2017) and Vankayalapati Yugandhar (2016) revealed that the malicious apps aimed at mobile devices have risen from about 14,000 to 40,000 in less than a year. This rise in the malicious apps requires the strong OS. The limitations of the Mobile operating systems are: A user cannot grant single permissions, while rejecting others in order to install the app. Among the list of permissions an app might request a suspicious permission among the other legitimate permissions, will still be able to confirm the installation, mobile devices may download malware which the mobile OS is not able to trace, the novice users may download apps that contain malware unknowingly because it can be disguised as a well-known game, security patch by OS, utility, or other useful application. It is difficult for users to tell the difference between a legitimate app and one containing malware, often, the users of the app cannot judge the appropriateness and legitimacy of permissions for the app in question, in some cases it may be well understood, for example when a chess game app requests the privilege to reboot the Smartphone or to send SMS messages. In many cases, however, users will simply not be able to understand the appropriateness of the permission, in case of the iOS, the user is not at all informed about any of the permissions.

Vankayalapati Yugandhar (2016) and Padrithi (2016) proposed an OS Enhancement solution, known as NBS. The Need-Based Security (NBS) system designed to enhance the privacy of the user at run time. The main advantage of the proposed NBS system is that the user is informed about the authorized and unauthorized access of the resources at run time. The NBS system can be implemented in the operating system to provide the permissions at run time. Currently the OS is either including all the permissions without the information of the user as in case of iOS or it forces the user to accept all the permissions at install time as in case of the worlds popular OS Android. The most important file AndroidManifest.xml which lists the permissions of the app can be modified at run time by providing the need-based permission system whenever the app is asking for the permission the user may be informed at that moment. The main advantage of our NBS system is that it gives freedom to the users and the programmers to write a code which does not result in usability issues. Need based permission system and getting permission approvals at run time is a relatively new but promising approach as it gives lot of freedom to the novice users.

The increasing trend of Smartphone usage by individuals of all ages has brought forward stiff competition between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android OS. However, recent researches and reports revealed that the novice users are not secure on these platforms because of the limitations of these OS. We established different types of limitations in various mobile OS and particularly in Android and iOS which are the leading mobile Operating Systems. We found that there is a major need of modification in the permission-based model of security system and we strongly recommended the implementation of Need based security system in the mobile operating systems so that the novice user can be informed at run time about the access to its various resources.

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