14 Replies Latest reply: Jan 9, 2013 6:52 AM by Phil0124
Malma63 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

A few weeks ago, my computer downloaded a file named "controller.gz" out of no where! When that happened, only 4 web sites were opened on my browser, including Facebook. I haven't been using these sites on my iPhone (I actually never visited them on my iPhone because my iPhone is pretty new, I didn't really have the internet and time to use them on my iPhone) because they are in my "suspected sites" list as the virus may have come from any of these sites. I don't want my iPhone to be infected with malware. But I need Facebook. If the controller.gz virus comes from Facebook, and if I use Facebook on my iPhone, can it affect my iPhone? Can .gz files work on iPhones? .gz files are said to be for unix, and iOS is a unix system too. What to do?

iPhone 4S, iOS 6
  • Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (47,205 points)

    Controller.gz is a Windows virus. It will have no effect on either your Mac or iPhone.



  • Malma63 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    But according to the internet, .gz files can work on iPhones too. I'm confused .
    So, let's say I visited the page, from where I got that virus, on my iPhone. Will the virus be downloaded on my phone (but it won't be active, because you said it will have no effect on iPhones) or will it not be downloaded at all? I mean, which would be better to say, "It can enter your iPhone but it won't be active, it won't work", or "It can never ever enter your iPhone, even if you visit the page with the virus, your iPhone won't download anything"? 
    Oh by the way, do you know about the virus? Or is this the first time you heard about it?

  • Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (47,205 points)

    Please provide link where you read that. I am unable to find anything that says that.


    Everything I find says it infects Windows and Windows only.


    This is the first I have ever heard of it.



  • Malma63 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    When I google the words ".gz files iPhone", it gives many results about opening .gz files on iPhones. That made me think that they are compatible with iOS


    What about the other question of mine? About what a virus can do to an iPhone. If my FB has a virus and I connect my iPhone to my FB account through the app, will my iPhone get viruses that won't be active, or will my iPhone be totally free of malware? I'm just asking if the virus can be downloaded, or can't be downloaded at all.

    So, even if my FB account is infected, I won't get any dangerous files on my iPhone when I login to my account on my iPhone, am I right?

  • Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (47,205 points)

    There is a difference between loading a file on an iPhone and installing it which must be done before it can run.


    As to FB, I have no idea what it can or can't do since I done even have a login to it.


    I doubt seriously that if your FB account is infected that will have any impact on your iPhone.



  • Rudegar Level 7 Level 7 (22,605 points)

    gz is the same thing as .zip it's a compressed archive which could contain any number of things

  • Malma63 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, Allan.


    So, @rudegar can it work on iOS?

  • Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (47,205 points)

    If you do a search in either Google or the iTunes App Store, you will discover lots of apps to work with zip on the iPad.



  • Malma63 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    At first you said .gz files can't affect iPhones, now you're saying I can find some apps to do that

  • Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (47,205 points)

    There are apps to uncompress the contents of the .gz files but the files that are in there are very unlikely to have any effect on the iPhone. A .gz files is either a file or a group of files which have been compressed. Once the content is uncompressed then the need to be installed to effect the iPhone and that can't be done.



  • Phil0124 Level 6 Level 6 (16,720 points)

    There seems to be a miscommunication. There's talk of two different things and its being taken as if it where the same thing.


    1. The virus named controller.gz might be Windows only Virus. I can't find anything about a virus named controller.gz. Though there re some named for instance W32/Mytob-GZ, or Trojan.Sirefef.GZ etc... This are virus names that contain the GZ suffix.


    2. Independent to that, there are files that have the extension "gz". Which are compressed archives like A Zip file.   These types of files have nothing to do with the virus.  gz stands for "Gnu Zip".  There are Apps for the iOS that can open these files and view their contents.  This has nothing to do with a virus or anything like that.


    So first you need to determine if that controller.gz is actually a virus. Second if its not a virus, its probably just a compressed archive file with other files inside.


    With that said, iOS at this time is not susceptible to any virus. It cannot be infected by windows virus, and no virus can run itself on it.

  • Malma63 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I can't find anything about it either, which is annoying. I'm not sure if it's a virus, I just "guess" because it has the name "controller" and it was downloaded out of no where, I mean, I wasn't doing anything when that happened. Oh and when I right-clicked on the file and clicked on "properties", "This file was sent from another computer" in the "source" section.


    So, you're saying that even if it's a virus, and even if it gets to your iPhone, it won't be able to run itself? I'm kind of scared because you know, on iOS 6, Facebook determines almost everything. I mean like calender, contacts and stuff.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (30,410 points)

    So, you're saying that even if it's a virus, and even if it gets to your iPhone, it won't be able to run itself?


    That is correct.


    Here's how to think about this particular file: imagine you find a box. You have no idea what's in it, but you could certainly open the box if you wanted to see what's inside it.


    Now suppose you open the box, and find inside a vial containing theobromine, a deadly poison... if you're a dog. It doesn't hurt humans. (That's why we can eat chocolate and dogs can't.)


    If you were a dog, and you chose to open the box and ingest the poison, you would be in trouble. If you're a human, it's not a problem.


    Now, to bring this metaphor back to the iPhone, the .gz file is the box. With the right tools on the phone, you could open the .gz file to see what's inside, but unless you have jailbroken your phone, what's inside will not be able to hurt you.

  • Phil0124 Level 6 Level 6 (16,720 points)



    For another analogy, imagne someone that opens the box, and sees a set of instructions on how to construct a bomb, but they are in Chinese. If you don't read Chinese, you won't be able to follow them. same with a virus. Its just a set of instructions given to the computer to do nasty things to itself. But if its in a language it can't understand then it won't be able to do anything with it.


    As to how it downloaded, that's another mystery all together.