9 Replies Latest reply: Mar 5, 2009 8:37 AM by Allan Sampson
Mr. Ess Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Call me overly paranoid, but I was wondering if there's a way to make the iPhone "Undiscoverable" after pairing my Apple Bluetooth Headset. I work within Information Security and have heard about Wi-Fi jacking as well as ways to get into your phone via Bluetooth connection. Although the MAC OS is a very stable OS, I'm a little overprotective with my iPhone seeing that you can't put any type of Anti-Malware software onto it at this time (or am I wrong on that one?). So yeah, anyone know how to turn OFF "Discoverable" mode?

Mac Book Pro 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.4.11), Event ASP8s - M-Audio Firewire 410 - M-Audio Oxygen 49
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,375 points)
    I'm not certain, but I don't believe antivirus software does much good protecting against malware, and any antivirus software that you may be running on your Mac is protecting you against Windows viruses, which can't affect or infect OS X. If you are running antivirus software on your Mac, you are helping to protect Windows users when forwarding an email with an attachment, or when attaching a file to a new message that is sent to a Windows user, and Windows users should be running antivirus software due to constant virus concerns.

    It isn't possible to install anything on an iPhone from a website, or from a received email except for being able to save a photo from a website or from a received email, and I haven't heard about any viruses or malware being embedded in a jpeg file.

    I don't believe it is possible to make the iPhone undiscoverable after connecting a bluetooth headset, or you will no longer be connected to the headset.
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6 (13,730 points)
    The iPhone doesn't have the bluetooth protocols to allow another device to connect to it. The only bluetooth profile is hands free or headset.
  • Mr. Ess Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for insight Allan (and Tamara). I figured that after "pairing" the headset, you may have the ability to turn "discoverable" off, but I'm pretty sure you're right...you can't. In regards to not being able to download anything but pictures, it makes sense that we're less prone to hackers or malware because I'm also pretty sure too that there haven't been any traces of imbedded malicious code in jpegs...yet! In regards to some of the antivirus information you supplied, I must admit I disagree. Most antivirus software nowadays is more so "Integrated Anti-Malware" than just your typical AV. These products offer protection from virus', worms, trojans, as well as various other hacker threats or even productivity issues in the work place (Application Control). Yes, you are right, most threats (if not 99.99% of them!) are Windows based, but my organization (Sophos) has found dozens of malicious code for the MAC OS. I run our Anti-Malware on my Mac and it protects you from both Windows and Mac born threats. Unfortunately, due to the long reach of Apple and it's impressive growth...we can only assume that the malware writers out there will soon move into the world of Mac. The only thing stopping them now is that there's really no financial motivation!!! Once again, thanks for the feedback. I just wanted to put this out there because I'm sure many people that may fall upon this link fall into the "Macs don't get Virus" group and it's only a matter of time before they learn the hardway

    PS. This isn't a ploy to promote my company. The only way our product would get on a consumer's machine is if their employer bought it (we focus and sell to "Enterprises" only).
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,375 points)
    OS X was released approaching 10 years ago. Script kiddies and virus writers have had nearly a decade to come up with an OS X virus, and there are none. I'm talking virus, not malware or trojans. By definition, there are no viruses that affect or infect OS X. I'm not saying there will never be a virus that affects or infects OS X - spreading from Mac to Mac without the infected user's knowledge as is so common with Windows, but it has been nearly 10 years without success.

    Malware is a different story. When Office 2004 was first released, I recall reading about someone on Limeware downloading and installing what she was told was a free copy and install of Office 2004 for the Mac. She neglected to check the size of the download, which couldn't possibly be a full copy and install for Office 2004, and she clicked away. The install was malware which completely erased her Home directory, and I doubt any antivirus software for OS X would have detected this download as a problem. It wasn't a virus, just an AppleScript that erased her entire Home directory when selected.

    BTW, what financial motivation is there for script kiddies and virus writers? Do these guys and gals get paid by someone for coming up with it, such as getting paid by antivirus software companies? I can understand someone having motivation to come up with a trojan that provides financial data on someone's computer that can be exploited, but who pays the ordinary Windows virus writer - the financial motivation is coming from where and who?
  • Paulie Pod Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I could have sworn there was a setting in earlier firmware versions that allowed you to switch this mode off??
    I paired mine last night. Whenever Bluetooth is "on" the pinwheel next to "devices" runs, and it says "Now Discoverable."
    Is this normal actions?
  • Mr. Ess Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hey Paulie, yeah I have that same problem (that little circle aways running searching for devices). Yeah, I figured there would be a way to turn it off but I don't think so
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,375 points)
    The little circle that is spinning when going to Bluetooth to pair a device, or to remove/unpair a device is not spinning when leaving Bluetooth. This is no different on another phone when going to the Bluetooth setting and select discoverable to discover and pair with a device, which has a time limit for being discoverable with most other phones. When going to Bluetooth with the iPhone is the same thing. It remains paired with a paired device but the iPhone's Bluetooth isn't constantly in discovery mode unless Bluetooth is selected making it discoverable.
  • Mr. Ess Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Allan Sampson wrote:
    OS X was released approaching 10 years ago. Script kiddies and virus writers have had nearly a decade to come up with an OS X virus, and there are none. I'm talking virus, not malware or trojans. By definition, there are no viruses that affect or infect OS X. I'm not saying there will never be a virus that affects or infects OS X - spreading from Mac to Mac without the infected user's knowledge as is so common with Windows, but it has been nearly 10 years without success.

    Malware is a different story. When Office 2004 was first released, I recall reading about someone on Limeware downloading and installing what she was told was a free copy and install of Office 2004 for the Mac. She neglected to check the size of the download, which couldn't possibly be a full copy and install for Office 2004, and she clicked away. The install was malware which completely erased her Home directory, and I doubt any antivirus software for OS X would have detected this download as a problem. It wasn't a virus, just an AppleScript that erased her entire Home directory when selected.

    BTW, what financial motivation is there for script kiddies and virus writers? Do these guys and gals get paid by someone for coming up with it, such as getting paid by antivirus software companies? I can understand someone having motivation to come up with a trojan that provides financial data on someone's computer that can be exploited, but who pays the ordinary Windows virus writer - the financial motivation is coming from where and who?


    Allan. Although there aren't a lot of "malware" or "viruses" for the MAC OS X, they certainly do exist...

    http://sophos.com/security/analyses/viruses-and-spyware/search-results/?search=m ac&productsearch=virus_search_virussection&submit.x=53&submit.y=9&action=search

    Also never once did I post on just "viruses"...look through my posts, I said "malware". In regards to MAC AV software not catching any MAC written malware, then what's the point? We wouldn't be installed on thousands of MACs worldwide if that was the case.

    Financial motivation? I don't know where to begin. What fraudulent organization wouldn't pay top dollar for the rights and access to thousands of bots? What about DDos Attacks that can shut down organization's websites for hours or days (costing them tons of money!). Many fierce competitors have sought after this technique. Targeting MAC networks just doesn't make sense...it's simple math. Target .01% of the population or 99.99%? That's why MACs haven't been attacked...yet!

    Thanks for the responses and insight but I consider this post and thread done...thanks
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,375 points)
    Using MAC in all caps is the abbreviation for Media Access Control. Anyone who has used a Mac for any length of time and is familiar with Apple and Apple computers does not use MAC for a Mac.

    There are no viruses by the definition of a virus that infect or affect OS X - none, zero, zilch, nada. Please provide the name of a single OS X virus that has spread viruly - from Mac to Mac without the infected user's knowledge. If such an animal existed or exists, it would likely be headline news - all over the news wires and the internet in very short order.

    Regarding the financial motivation - I see. The low-life spammers needing to hijack computers without the user's knowledge to send their garbage. And Macs make up only .01% of the market? Think again, but anyone who uses MAC for a Mac can't be up to speed regarding Apple computers, especially with the old security through obscurity FUD and baloney. If you believe the ONLY reason Macs or OS X hasn't been attacked with much success over the last 10 years is based on the old security through obscurity dribble, you are certainly no expert on the subject.

    Now this post and thread is done, and thank you so much for your insight about MACS, I mean Macs.