Samsung’s smartphones have been best sellers all over the world, but the company has been, until recently, marketing them to consumers, not businesses.
But over the last year, Samsung, the South Korean manufacturer, has been quietly beefing up the Google Android software that runs on its smartphones to give businesses a phone with more security.
If you've ever worked on Android itself you know how big a mess it really is. This is part and parcel of its core; Android is in fact nothing more or less than a big monolithic Linux kernel with a single "big app" that runs on boot (called, interestingly enough, "zygote") that then starts and manages everything else.
Android, in short, is a very odd mixture of Java layered on top of C++ and, under that, "C" code. AOSP is public, and anyone with enough skill to understand what they're looking at is welcome to examine and develop their own opinion on this matter.
That's my view after plenty of actual experience with it -- you're free to look and draw your own conclusions.
Linux can be a reasonably-secure base for a given operating environment but Android is too big, too convoluted and too interconnected at its core (and across three different environments!) to make a convincing argument that as implemented it is or can be made secure in a heterogeneous environment subject to external attack. The task of doing so is almost impossible to compartmentalize, and yet doing that is essential to the task if one is to approach it in an analytic and defensible fashion.
Security that is post-hoc "audited in" is almost always nothing more than a thin veneer that makes for great marketing copy but little more. True security comes from a top-down design -- something BlackBerry has always had as a foremost element in its devices and operating environments.
If Samsung wants a truly-secure environment they should buy one that was designed that way from the outset. Absent that they can certainly produce something that will make for good marketing copy, but I remain singularly unconvinced that truth will, or can, meet hype within the Android environment.
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