Posted by: David Harley | May 3, 2010

Beware the iMeme

Ok, this story is several days old. I did hear about it in passing, but I was away from the office and too busy to look at it properly. Today is a holiday, so I’m catching up with some of my usual sources, such as last week’s stories in The Register. (That’s a holiday?!?)

So according to a Register story from the 28th April, “Malware scammers are trying to trick early iPad buyers into installing backdoor software [a variant of malware ESET calls Win32/Bifrose , to be precise] on Windows machines”: actually, they’re summarizing a comprehensive advisory by BitDefender here.

Let me see if I’ve got this right: someone (the “From:” field is blacked out in the BitDefender screenshot) sends you a note telling you need to install iTunes from a specific site on another computer so that you can update your iPad by connecting to it? Why, doesn’t the iPad have an Internet connection? I guess I won’t buy one after all, then…

BitDefender don’t say how many people have fallen for this, if any. I’m tempted to say that if this bit of social engineering works on anyone over the age of six, all the unkind remarks Mac users make about Windoze users may not be totally unjustified. Unless, of course, it’s the exposure to iGadgets and Apple complacency that disables essential neural paths:

Scepticism This Way 

And I don’t think even the most bigoted Apple fan would claim that iPad security is so good that it even protects connected Windows PCs. In fact, The H recently ran the same story, but also reported that Geohot is claimed to be working on another jailbreaking tool, this time one that breaks both iPads and iPhones. Anyone still think jailbreaking isn’t a security issue?

Mac Virus Administrator
Small Blue-Green World Author/Consultant
AVIEN Chief Operations Officer
ESET Research Fellow & Director of Malware Intelligence

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