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In-app purchases are killing the gaming industry, says Mikko Hypponen

F-Secure researcher thinks 'it sucks' but acknowledges iOS tight security
Tue Jun 17 2014, 15:56

HELSINKI: IN-APP PURCHASES are killing gaming, F-Secure chief security researcher Mikko Hypponen has declared.

Hypponen made the statement at the firm's headquarters in Finland during a low-key roundtable event on Tuesday, and he voiced it due to his frustration with gaming on the iPad that requires users to pay in order to play extensively.

Mikko Hyponnen speaks about in app purchases at F-Secure HQ

The security researcher used the iPad motorcycling game Trials as an example, which is ported from the Xbox. However, unlike the console edition, the tablet version requires gamers to tank the bike with coins to play fully, which can only be purchased with real money via the tablet operating system's respective app store.

"If you want to play more than a little bit and want to play every day you have to pay, and it sucks," Hypponen moaned. "I'd rather play than pay. In- app purchases are killing gaming".

During our time at the F-Secure headquarters, Hypponen said that tablet operating systems, especially Apple's iOS, are the safest around and much safer than desktop systems, specifically for web browsing.

"iOS is remarkably clean," Hyponnen said. "This could change at any moment [but] we simply just haven't seen Android [or iOS] exploit kits that would target those devices yet," he added.

"Right now its much safer surfing with tablets and iOS, which is much more closed and the app store is strictly controlled."

Hypponen explained that there are no third party app stores in iOS, and this makes it safer than Android and much safer in general.

Remarking that iOS has been on the market seven years with no malware problems, Hypponen said that unlike Android, which is purposely made open, the closed nature of Apple's mobile operating system is "like you're handcuffed but you're in a safe cell, so it's a trade-off".

He added, "An important insight [Apple] must have had is that the users wouldn't mind being so handcuffed - and as we've learned they don't, and in exchange they get better security."

During today's event, F-Secure also slammed Google's digital profiling is "extremely dangerous." µ


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