First-ever iPhone virus spreads via SMS?

By Justin Mann on July 31, 2009, 9:01 AM
The security-conscious atmosphere that Apple likes to breed might be in danger. There have been numerous reports recently of a new vulnerability, dubbed the “iPhone SMS Virus”, that could result in the smartphone being compromised or remotely controlled. Hacker Charlie Miller released this so-called first iPhone virus yesterday, six weeks after reporting the flaw to Apple. Giving it away to the public at a security conference in Las Vegas, this could prove to be a sticky situation for the Cupertino company if the implications are true.

Depending on your source, the potential damage this flaw could cause varies. Some go so far as to claim it could let remote users make calls with your phone, pilfer data from it or even more. What makes it especially scary is that it can be spread completely via SMS messaging, requiring no intervention on a user's behalf. An iPhone can be compromised through specific crafting of malicious text messages, most of which would be hidden to the victim.

Though unofficial patches have reportedly surfaced, there has been no official response from Apple on what the flaw entails and how long users will have to wait for a fix. I wouldn't personally suggest installing third-party software, and would instead hope that Apple comes up with an official response – either dispelling this as hyped nonsense or confirming it as a danger and offering a solution. Interestingly, one of the most plausible-sounding do-it-yourself fixes requires having a jailbroken iPhone, which can let you disable the messaging application on the iPhone without removing it.




User Comments: 9

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captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Cometh The IPhone Virus, Is This the End of the Dial Tone as We Know It..?

Fifty years from now historians will recount, "it's been said that during the great IPhone Virus outbreak, on a quiet night, you could hear the cell towers exploding from miles away"!

Algoz Algoz said:

Hope this isn't true, but if it is I guess Apple with neither confirm nor deny, they'll just issue an OS upgrade.

But, seeing as how iPhone OS is based on OS X, does this mean a vulnerability exists there?

VonDisco said:

'six weeks after reporting the flaw to Apple'

Apple really need to sort themsleves out and realise that their hardware and software isn't invicible it's appalling that they will refuse to do anything about any problems pickup up on about their products.

They'll probably just say it's user error and leave it be just like the overheating issue..

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

'six weeks after reporting the flaw to Apple'

Apple really need to sort themsleves out and realise that their hardware and software isn't invicible it's appalling that they will refuse to do anything about any problems pickup up on about their products.

They'll probably just say it's user error and leave it be just like the overheating issue..

This is the sort of thing that happens when you've been lying to the public for a protracted period of time! The lying starts to become pathological and you believe it yourself .

One description of an Apple board meeting might be, a "corporate group-think for sociopaths".

guyver1 said:

"Interestingly, one of the most plausible-sounding do-it-yourself fixes requires having a jailbroken iPhone"

HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!!!!!!!!

I spat tea everywhere!!!!

Irony thy name is Apple

Algoz Algoz said:

Algoz said:

I guess Apple with neither confirm nor deny, they'll just issue an OS upgrade.

There you go, a simple software upgrade. No admission, no denial. Silence is deafening!

Guest said:

Apple = Fail.

Again, and again, and again...

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

This attack works on both the iPhone and the Andoid.

Yes, looks like Google failed too.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Was wondering if my friends iPhone was at risk until I read.....

"Interestingly, one of the most plausible-sounding do-it-yourself fixes requires having a jailbroken iPhone"

Then decided he is probably safe since he jailbroke his phone within 2 days of owning it :P

Think its great that a hacked iPhone is a safe iPhone

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