09:30 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme

Has The Time Arrived For iPhone Antivirus Software?

Apple antivirus and privacy software maker Intego thinks so. The security vendor last week announced its software is the first AV to scan the iPhone and iPod Touch for malware. I wouldn't rush out to install it, just yet.

Apple antivirus and privacy software maker Intego thinks so. The security vendor last week announced its software is the first AV to scan the iPhone and iPod Touch for malware. I wouldn't rush out to install it, just yet.There's no doubt, in my mind, that someday malware on mobile devices will become a problem. Actually, I had thought it would have become a problem earlier this decade, and then again a few years into this decade. But viruses and malware aimed at handheld devices and smartphones just haven't come to fruition. And why should they? Hacking applications and operating systems have grown from being a hobbyist-sport to big business, and there's still little sense (aside from proof-of-concept code and bragging rights) in infecting gadgets when there are so many Web servers and networked PCs available for the taking. (The weakness in this logic is that someone develops some type of virus for the iPhone to cause mass disruption -- just so they have the bragging rights as the one who made history.)

But it's my hunch, and that's as good as anyone can get when it comes to predicting future trends in malware, that such a virus attack would not come via the iPhone/iPod Touch App Store. Rather, it'd come through the mail client or Safari. Which brings us to the utility in Intego's announcement that it's VirusBarrier X5 will eradicate malware from the iPhone and iPod Touch.

From the press release:

Not only Macs are at risk from malware; now that users can install applications on the iPhone and iPod Touch, these devices are open to attack as well.

It's possible -- I mean, viruses have been shipped with retail software packages, MP3 players, and most recently a handful of digital picture frames -- but it's not a risk I'd get all choked up about. Also, because VirusBarrier scans the iPhone and iPod Touch when docked (there is no AV agent placed on the devices) users are still at risk through the most likely attack vectors: Web and mail.

Intego makes good software, and I run its firewall on my Mac Pro and MacBook Pro, but I wouldn't buy VirusBarrier X5 because it scans iPhones and the iPod Touch. The good news for current VirusBarrier X5 users is that the update is free.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Who Does What in Cybersecurity at the C-Level
Steve Zurier, Freelance Writer,  3/16/2018
Microsoft Report Details Different Forms of Cryptominers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  3/13/2018
New 'Mac-A-Mal' Tool Automates Mac Malware Hunting & Analysis
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  3/14/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
How to Cope with the IT Security Skills Shortage
Most enterprises don't have all the in-house skills they need to meet the rising threat from online attackers. Here are some tips on ways to beat the shortage.
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
[Strategic Security Report] Navigating the Threat Intelligence Maze
Most enterprises are using threat intel services, but many are still figuring out how to use the data they're collecting. In this Dark Reading survey we give you a look at what they're doing today - and where they hope to go.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.