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Is it possible to get a virus on the iphone 4

49580 Views 26 Replies Latest reply: Jul 30, 2012 8:26 PM by deggie RSS
  • PJ\'sPal Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Here is a history of Apple viruses and malware.  

    http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2010/11/24/apple-mac-malware-short-history/

     

    This is missing the latest Macdefender malware that was more of a phishing scheme.

    Here is a later article about more current Mac malware

    http://www.betanews.com/article/Is-Mac-malware-dead-or-just-resting/1312297761

     

    I remember the nVir and the MDEF virus for the earlier versions of the Mac.

    I had antivirus programs remove these from my systems way back when.

     

    I have been fortunate to not see the others listed here.

    I recall reading about Leap-A for Mac OSX but I never used iChat much.

     

     

    As for the iPhone, my wife just purchased one so I thought I better look into security issues with that phone since all her email is going to be there. 

     

    Googling iPhone malware:

    PDF related files:

    http://technology.inc.com/2011/07/13/apple-says-it-will-fix-ios-malware-exploit/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/06/iphone-security-issues-apple-ios-german y_n_891622.html

     

    Here is a draft paper from Greece regarding Malware for iOS and the iPhone:

    http://www.icsd.aegean.gr/publication_files/conference/462488002.pdf

     

    This one indicates Apple is far safer than others, provided that users password protect their phones:

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/08/03/lookout_retrevio_warn_of_growing_a ndroid_malware_epidemic_note_apples_ios_is_far_safer.html

     

     

    While Apple has done a good job of trying to sandbox iOS with its app store, others may still try and find weaknesses to get into it.  With the various users of the iPhone and the openness of email and file sharing, I think it wise to try and protect them if I can.

  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (122,145 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 9, 2011 4:15 AM (in response to PJ\'sPal)

    Once again, when was the last time a Mac running OS X you are responsible for was down for a couple of hours due to an OS X virus? And please list that OS X virus that caused this.

    BTW - Email attachments with Malware/viruses do not require a hacked iPhone.

    The PDF exploit is malware, not a virus. The antivirus software for the iPhone you are selling won't do squat in regards to this since it can't run in the background.

    While Apple has done a good job of trying to sandbox iOS with its app store, others may still try and find weaknesses to get into it. 

    Apple isn't trying to sandbox iOS, iOS is sandboxed.

     

    And regarding Leap-A, which affected Tiger only:

     

    http://www.macworld.com/article/49459/2006/02/leapafaq.html

     

    What does Apple have to say about all this?

    Here’s what the company told my colleague Peter Cohen:

    Leap-A is not a virus, it is malicious software that requires a user to download the application and execute the resulting file. Apple always advises Macintosh users to only accept files from vendors and Web sites that they know and trust. We have a guide to safely handling files received from the Internet .

  • MartinDJR Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2011 1:46 PM (in response to Allan Sampson)

    Actually there have been viruses for Mac files. 

    Not with OS X.

    Regardless, to avoid spreading any virus, it is wise to have anti-virus software on your Mac.

    Baloney. I'm not going to waste processor cycles on my Mac scanning email attachments received that can't affect or infect my Mac and in case the attachments are forwarded to a Windows user that has chosen to use that swiss cheese for security garbage and who must run antivirus software on their PC.

    You should not feel too secure...

     

    From my point of view the only reason why there is no virus for MacOS X, yet, is the fact, that there are only few Mac computers right now. There were NO viruses for Linux computers but with the rising popularity of Linux WLAN routers viruses attacking only Linux WLAN routers have been written...

     

    Now the popularity of the iPhone grows and grows...

     

    Just a matter of time until the virus programmers will try to write viruses attacking iPhones.

     

    The fact, that (normally) only signed code can be run on iPhones makes it more difficult to develop such a virus but who knows...

  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (122,145 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2011 2:01 PM (in response to MartinDJR)

    The old security through obscurity belief and FUD is complete horse ****.

     

    It is illogical (stupid is more like it) to state or imply that the Mac platform is secure via obscurity. Why would criminals not target the most affluent personal computer users, the tens of millions of Mac users around the world? And it has been 10 years and running now without an OS X virus. 10 years is a lifetime in the computer industry.

     

    The idea that Windows' significant security woes exists because more people use Windows and that Macs have no or very few security problems because fewer people use Macs, is simply not true. By design, Mac OS X is simply more secure than Windows. Period. And iOS is an optimized version of OS X.

     

    Every single time there is a Windows virus outbreak or a new OS release, the "Security Via Obscurity" myth gets trotted out.

     

    "Security via Obscurity" is a defense mechanism for the delusional and also a tool for Microsoft apologists and/or those who profit from the Windows economy that's designed to be used when attempting keep Windows sufferers from straying. Well over 30 million OS X installs and well over 200 million iOS devices is not "obscure" at all, but 10 years of Mac users surfing the Net unimpeded certainly is "secure." Besides social engineering scams (phishing, trojans; no OS can instill common sense) the only thing by which Mac users are really affected are large swaths of compromised Windows machines slowing down the 'Net with spam and nefarious botnet traffic targeted at exploiting even more insecure Windows boxes.

  • MartinDJR Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2011 9:34 PM (in response to Allan Sampson)

    The idea that Windows' significant security woes exists because more people use Windows and that Macs have no or very few security problems because fewer people use Macs, is simply not true.

    What I wanted to say is: Even if Windows was a more secure system than OS X it would be more profitable for hackers to write viruses for Windows than for OS X - just because of the huge number of devices. Therefore they did not try to attack OS X, yet.

     

    OS X may be more secure than Windows however I am sure that MacOS X has security problems, too. If it is really true that no antivirus software for OS X exists I cannot believe that it is impossible to write viruses for that system!

     

    Please do not feel too secure. Thinking "I might have a virus on my computer" and not having one is better than having one and thinking "I am free of viruses".

     

    A security hole in iOS 4.0 would have allowed to install viruses on iPhones very simply by sending an email containing a specially prepaired PDF file to the phone. The user opens the email and the virus is installed...

     

    If your figures (200 and 30 million devices) are correct than iOS is a 6 times more profitable target than OS X so hackers will first try to attack iOS, then OS X...

  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (122,145 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2011 10:05 PM (in response to MartinDJR)

    Hogwash. More moronic statements.

     

    OS X has been available for 10 years now. That is a decade and running, and there are no viruses that affect or infect OS X. Once again, why would criminals not target the most affluent personal computer users, the tens of millions of Mac users around the world? Tens of millions of users is far from obscure. To use security through obscurity argument is for the delusional.

     

    Not may be more secure. OS X is more secure than Windows, period.

     

    My Macs are free of viruses and have been for the last 10 years, period.

     

    The PDF security issue allowed or would have allowed no such thing. Since those who use that swiss cheese for security garbage that is Windows use the word virus for the morass of viruses, malware, adware, and spyware that are a constant concern for them, do you know what the definition of a virus includes? 

     

    My figures are correct, there are well over 30 million OS X users, and well over 200 million iOS devices have been sold to date, and baloney. It is obvious you are one of the delusional who can't get away from the obscurity through obscurity belief and very poor logic. The low-life hackers go after the easy target - one that is easier to attack. The total numbers have nothing or very little to do with it. If the numbers were reversed between OS X and Windows, that wouldn't change the fact that OS X is more secure than Windows, period.

  • takaya Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 30, 2011 9:00 PM (in response to Allan Sampson)

    umm, do you forget Mac Defender?

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4650

  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (122,145 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 1, 2011 5:34 AM (in response to takaya)

    Nothing but a phishing scam, and you said this.

     

    "You don't have to be security professional to search iOS virus in google. There have been numerous trojans, worms and other forms of malware written for Mac and iOS based devices.

     

    Please substantiate the NUMEROUS trojans, worms, and other forms of malware for iOS - for iOS that has not been hacked or jailbroken.

     

    <Edited by Host>

  • takaya Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 30, 2011 10:01 PM (in response to calcharlie)

    the original poster did not specify whether an iOS device had to be jailbroken or not.

     

    hence i do not want people to misunderstand the threats that do affect the iphone. i am only trying to help.

     

    when people use the term 'virus' they are generally referring to malware in general.

     

    here are some examples.

     

    mac OSX:

     

    iServices - trojan

    http://www.intego.com/news/ism0902.asp

     

    BlackHole RAT - trojan

    http://www.sophos.com/en-us//threat-center/threat-analyses/viruses-and-spyware/O SX~MusMinim-A.aspx

     

    Revir.A - trojan

    http://www.macworld.com.au/news/apple-updates-os-x-combats-mac-trojan-37629/

     

     

    iOS:

     

    SpyPhone - proof of concept using Apples APIs

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-10446402-245.html

     

    113 prep - iOS trojan

    http://www.zdnet.com/news/first-iphone-trojan-in-the-wild/182554

     

    And the Germans

    http://gizmodo.com/5818823/german-government-warns-of-four+year-old-iphone-malwa re-threat

  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (122,145 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 1, 2011 5:30 AM (in response to takaya)

    I'm specifying it, and read the first reply to the OP's post.

     

    There is no such thing for a non-hacked or non-jailbroken iPhone. An idiot who hacks their iPhone or iOS device opens the device to security problems. There is nothing that can protect someone from what lies between their ears, or lack thereof.

     

    There are no such threats for a non-hacked iOS device. Hacking or jailbreaking an iOS device removes the built-in security - allowing a mental midget to download and install unofficial software from unknown and untrusted sources. In one word - duh..., and you are trying to do no such thing.

     

    Only those who use that swiss cheese for security garbage that is Windows lump everything as a virus, since there are constant virus, adware, and spyware concerns with it.

     

    <Edited by Host>

  • andeqoo Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 30, 2012 7:42 PM (in response to Allan Sampson)

    Firstly- I'm digging up this thread rather than starting a new one because the info in here was helpful to my understanding of the problem. That being said, I still have basically the same question: Is it possible to get or spread malware*** on a non-jailbroken iphone?

     

    It may not be your responsibility to protect Windows users, but burying your head in the sand ostrich-style pretending that Apple is infallible doesn't help anyone; in the end it just makes everyone in the world more likely to get infected. If you're not willing to "waste processor cycles" on a malware scanner- cool story, bro but he this thread isn't about your opinion of what's an efficient use of processing power, so to reiterate the question that we both have is- has it happened,  is it possible, what can be done to prevent it and how can it be solved if someone has the issue?

     

    I agree that security through obscurity is bull**** but being that most businesses around the world have been using the windows platform, i think it is pretty safe to say (and pretty hard to argue against) that historically there has been more money in creating malware for pcs than there has been for mac. No one want's malware on their devices, which is one of the reasons Apple is so popular and I, like hopefully everyone else- allan included--want to keep it that way and prevention is the best method; however redundant that may be.

     

    Allan: Condescending to everyone, name-calling and misdirecting people in an argument is not an effective way to formally win an argument- unless of course your end goal is to influence rather than find a solution. If nothing else,please lay off the rage a little bit, it's really not necessary.

     

    Props to Mr. Mysterious PJ for being on point and thanks for the new reading material :)

  • deggie Level 8 Level 8 (44,860 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 30, 2012 8:26 PM (in response to andeqoo)

    And the answer is still no.

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