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 Do I need anti-virus for my iPhone?

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PostSubject: Do I need anti-virus for my iPhone?   Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:57 am

Do I need anti-virus for my iPhone?

I recently caved in and got myself an Apple iPhone. Working here at Sophos, my first question has to be “Do I need anti-virus software for it?”.


Given that the iPhone runs a stripped down version of OS X, and most die hard Macheads will tell you how secure OS X is, my initial thought was that the virus risk must be comparatively small. In addition to this the browser the iPhone uses is a modified version of Safari, again lulling me into feeling pretty safe - I’m using a comparatively secure browser on a comparatively secure operating system.

A comparatively small risk, however, is a long way from a zero risk. Here at Sophos we’re raised to be pretty paranoid, so I needed to do a little more digging around online to see how safe my new toy actually was.

Earlier on this year the first Trojan horse for the iPhone was discovered, yet in itself it seemed to be much more an irritant/warning shot than a genuine threat. The Trojan found its way onto unsuspecting users’ phones by posing as a firmware update. Once installed, however, no actual damage was done - problems only occured when users removed the bogus app and unknowingly removed other applications along with it. D’oh. Re-install the apps you want, and no harm done.

This Trojan was only able to target ‘jailbroken’ phones - ie iPhones which have been modified to allow the installation of third party applications. My original question then has expanded to ‘”Do I need AV software for my non-jailbroken iPhone?”. An out-of-the-box iPhone doesn’t give the user any means of running code on the device. If you get your iPhone off the shelf and get a legit contract with the authorised mobile provider you’ll be unable to run any third party apps. If you can’t run code, you can’t run malicious code. This again makes the phone itself infinitely less risky than many other alternatives out there. Couple this with OS X and Safari and I’ve got to be feeling pretty secure at this point.

One thing to be aware of though is that I could well be more vulnerable to some types of phishing attack whilst browsing from my phone than I would from my PC, due to the way URLs are displayed. If someone sends me a link embedded in an email, my phone won’t display the URL, making it that bit easier for dodgy folk to point me to dodgy websites and potentially steal personal information. As ever a good helping of common sense with a side of paranoia is the order of the day. Legitimate companies will never ask you to verify or provide any confidential information in an unsolicited email.

In this industry, as far as malware and scams go, it’s pretty much a case of ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’. It’s always possible that people will find different ways of executing malicious code on the iPhone. iPhone users, and indeed Mac users in general can’t afford to be smug about security. Vulnerabilities for the iPhone have emerged, and been patched, and no doubt will continue to emerge and be patched. As to whether these vulnerabilties pose a real threat, well, I’ll leave that to the mobile experts to decide. The user base for the iPhone itself is still fairly small - compare the number of iPhone users with the number of Windows users say, and then ask yourself which platform the bad guys would consider it more worthwhile spending time exploiting. As and when the user base grows I might well need to be more concerned.

So, if I’m a user who hasn’t modded my phone, and who keeps up to date with patches (easily done via synching with iTunes), things are looking pretty good security-wise. I wouldn’t be foolish enough to deem my phone 100% secure - I don’t know that you could ever apply that label to any device. A healthy paranoia can be a good thing. For the moment though, given the above, I’m content that there’s currently no need for any AV protection on my iPhone. It goes without saying of course that should a real malware threat for the iPhone emerge Sophos will investigate and inform as always.

All I need to do now is convince my other half that it wasn’t a ridiculous amount of money to spend on an unnecessary shiny new toy..
Posted on March 11th, 2008 by Zoe Markham, SophosLabs
Filed under: General, Malware







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PostSubject: yes you do   Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:07 am

cause when you sneeze on it the jerms will stay on there so you need anti virus protection lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Do I need anti-virus for my iPhone?   Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:44 am

i will enlighten u now. i had the Iphone 3G, not u the new Iphone 3G S. "had" meaning its completley fucked now, one thing, DO NOT JAIL BREAK YOUR IPHONE"

Definition of jailbreak:Jailbreaking is a process that allows iPhone and iPod Touch users to run unofficial code on their devices bypassing Apple's official distribution mechanism, the App Store. Once jailbroken, iPhone users are able to download many applications previously unavailable through the App Store via unofficial installers such as Cydia, Rock App, Icy, and Installer. Cydia is preferred by the community, while Rock App has a small catalog of mainly paid apps. Icy and Installer are officially unsupported by their developers and rarely used. Cydia founder Jay Freeman estimates that 4 million (out of 40 million) iPods and iPhones are jailbroken.[1]

Jailbreaking is distinct from SIM unlocking, which is the process by which a mobile device is made compatible with telephone networks with which it was not specifically licensed to be used.
As you can see this tells u about jailbreaking your iphone OS, same theory as the 3G, every from there unofficial installers" is absolutley Free, yes we all love free stuff, and i can tell u, the 2 months i had my iphone jailbroken were awesome! downloaded 50-60 sweet Apps, that would have cost me about 500~ for the lot lmao, free music, free movies, everything that u can get on itunes, FREE. but heres the rob, it is clearly stated in most descriptions of jailbreak, that When a new version update comes You Must Update Your Iphone, to do this You Must Uninstall the jailbreak program (looks simple enough?) to uninstall the jailbreaking programs, u must, put ur iphone into recovery mode (Hold the home but for 5 seconds, keep holding it then hold the Off button untill the iphone restarts itself, this is recovery mode, but they want u plug it into itunes and do a full system recovery, with jailbreak installed it fucks with itunes systems, when u try to recover it, it sends u a Virus, its got a picture of some celebrity in cartoon picture seen "PREVED" in Russian,( took me about a month to work that out lmao)
(WTF does preved mean you all say?) PREVED means BRICKED, in short BRICKED means, your iphone is totally fucked, u have avoided your warrenty, and either now have to pay Apple 200~$ to get it fixed, or buy a new one.

In conclusion, Dont be a dick like i was and jailbreak your iphone lmao.
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PostSubject: Re: Do I need anti-virus for my iPhone?   Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:27 am

Silver wrote:
i will enlighten u now. i had the Iphone 3G, not u the new Iphone 3G S. "had" meaning its completley fucked now, one thing, DO NOT JAIL BREAK YOUR IPHONE"

Definition of jailbreak:Jailbreaking is a process that allows iPhone and iPod Touch users to run unofficial code on their devices bypassing Apple's official distribution mechanism, the App Store. Once jailbroken, iPhone users are able to download many applications previously unavailable through the App Store via unofficial installers such as Cydia, Rock App, Icy, and Installer. Cydia is preferred by the community, while Rock App has a small catalog of mainly paid apps. Icy and Installer are officially unsupported by their developers and rarely used. Cydia founder Jay Freeman estimates that 4 million (out of 40 million) iPods and iPhones are jailbroken.[1]

Jailbreaking is distinct from SIM unlocking, which is the process by which a mobile device is made compatible with telephone networks with which it was not specifically licensed to be used.
As you can see this tells u about jailbreaking your iphone OS, same theory as the 3G, every from there unofficial installers" is absolutley Free, yes we all love free stuff, and i can tell u, the 2 months i had my iphone jailbroken were awesome! downloaded 50-60 sweet Apps, that would have cost me about 500~ for the lot lmao, free music, free movies, everything that u can get on itunes, FREE. but heres the rob, it is clearly stated in most descriptions of jailbreak, that When a new version update comes You Must Update Your Iphone, to do this You Must Uninstall the jailbreak program (looks simple enough?) to uninstall the jailbreaking programs, u must, put ur iphone into recovery mode (Hold the home but for 5 seconds, keep holding it then hold the Off button untill the iphone restarts itself, this is recovery mode, but they want u plug it into itunes and do a full system recovery, with jailbreak installed it fucks with itunes systems, when u try to recover it, it sends u a Virus, its got a picture of some celebrity in cartoon picture seen "PREVED" in Russian,( took me about a month to work that out lmao)
(WTF does preved mean you all say?) PREVED means BRICKED, in short BRICKED means, your iphone is totally fucked, u have avoided your warrenty, and either now have to pay Apple 200~$ to get it fixed, or buy a new one.

In conclusion, Dont be a dick like i was and jailbreak your iphone lmao.

Or you could get a New Motorola Droid.

It has the open arena and there are thousands of apps that you can load...most are FREE !

Just google the "Google Android" operating system.

I LOVE mine !

Castle
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PostSubject: Re: Do I need anti-virus for my iPhone?   Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:23 pm

Bring back the Brick, those were simpler days. lol!
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