iPhone’s are under attack!

November 9th, 2009

It had to happen, with users unwilling to spend Rs 34,000 for buying iPhones in India. Instead, they chose to rely on friends and family in the US to get *jailbroken handsets that would cost less than half the amount they would otherwise pay.

*(Apple sells iPhones locked with network operator and to use the iPhone in India, you will have to pay to get it unlocked for using it with Indian sim cards)

Today we heard of the first iPhone virus, dubbed the ‘ikee’ worm that breaks into iPhones, changing their lock screen wallpaper to an image of 1980s pop star Rick Astley with the message: “ikee is never going to give you up.” And that’s all the virus does, FOR NOW.

As per a security company’s survey, nearly 97 per cent of people believe the iPhone will suffer from further virus attacks in the future. It’s safe to declare that hackers have now started to take Apple seriously. Before this, Apple was computing hardware was widely believed to be free from any kind of viruses unlike Microsoft’s Windows which are all so vulnerable to virus attacks. Well, yeah, Apple was damn right but the reason was that no hacker ever took Apple seriously so as to even try to create a worm for it.

“Fortunately the worm doesn’t do anything more malicious than that - it doesn’t steal information, access your emails or snoop on your calls,” informs Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for security and data protection company, Sophos. But now that the virus writers have put the iPhone’s source code on the internet – which means that other hackers can potentially create much more dangerous versions of the worm.

This worm appears to have been created by a 21-year old Ashley Towns, a student from Wollongong, New South Wales, who boasted about it on his Twitter page. Towns claims to have created the worm out of “boredom,” wrote in the worm’s code that he found it “stupid.”

This must be treated as a wake-up call to iPhone users around the world to take greater care about their security - especially if they jailbreak their phones. This also means that enterprises also need to make sure that they don’t have staff who are endangering corporate data by running insecure smartphones.

This latest incident raises the stakes — and it wouldn’t be hard to imagine that more hackers might become intrigued about the possibility of striking jailbroken iPhones in this fashion to deploy more sinister payloads than an image of Rick Astley in future.

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