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Cell Phone Security Updates: Voluntary or Involuntary?

Mar 11, 2009, 20:03 (2 Talkback[s])

"I'm going to preface this by saying that I'm not a big fan of security patches to software. They're the worst possible form of securing software, but they’re still a necessary evil in today's world.

"We've been doing software patches for years, of course. Windows, OS X, Linux, and others all have automated and pretty mature methods for updating and patching software. Until not that long ago, however, the solution for updating software on mobile devices was pretty archaic. Even Apple's iPhone uses a pull-based firmware update mechanism.

"To be fair, some mobile phone carriers have had push-based OTA updates for a while now as well. But we've achieved new heights quite recently. What's changed? Well, the operating system updaters I mentioned are all pull-based -- meaning they periodically (or manually) poll the vendor for new versions of the software, and install them if they're available and the user agrees."

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