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Security Firms Can't Protect iPhone From Threats 137

Posted by kdawson
from the work-with-me-here dept.
nk497 writes "F-Secure researchers are calling attention to the fact that it's impossible to run third-party anti-virus on iPhones, because the SDK doesn't allow for it. It's a problem, as they claim malware will start to target the phone. 'None of the existing anti-virus vendors can make one, without help from Apple,' chief research officer Mikko Hypponen said. 'Apple hasn't been too interested in developing antivirus solutions for the iPhone, because there are no viruses, which of course, isn't exactly true.' At the moment, the only worms faced by the iPhone have targeted unlocked, jailbroken devices — so Apple's not too bothered protecting users of such phones." While Apple claims that the iPhone's closed nature offers protection to its users, and security vendors maneuver for a piece of a market now closed to them, clearly both sides are pushing their own self-interest.
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Security Firms Can't Protect iPhone From Threats

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  • by stevens (84346) on Friday November 27, 2009 @10:00AM (#30245058) Homepage

    If it's like desktop anti-virus, it will have its own vulnerabilities, take up more resources than I'd like, cause buggy behaviour or incompatibilities with other apps, and feed me false positives too often.

    I don't need that on my phone. Since the only real malware we've seen for the iphone involves jailbreaking and then not properly managing your phone, I can do without.

  • Re:better for apple (Score:3, Informative)

    by Duradin (1261418) on Friday November 27, 2009 @10:24AM (#30245190)

    Only third party apps are barred from running in the background.

    Apple apps can and do run in the background which is why any AV company would have to work with Apple.

  • by sznupi (719324) on Friday November 27, 2009 @10:53AM (#30245422) Homepage

    It's NOT obscurity in this case! "Closed" here describes sandboxing/etc. mechanisms, which might just as well be OSS (AppArmour, SELinux)

  • Unlock != Jailbreak (Score:4, Informative)

    by netsharc (195805) on Friday November 27, 2009 @11:24AM (#30245700)

    BTW, if the original "anti-virus expert" really put unlock and jailbreak as the same thing, he needs to learn more about iPhones.

    Jailbreak is breaking out of the chroot jail. It gives you root access so you can do wonderful things like install an SSH-daemon (which, unfortunately uses a standard password which the worms out there are exploiting now), as well as install apps that you want instead of only those that's passed Apple's draconian approval service.

    Unlocking is SIM-unlocking, its purpose is so that an unauthorized SIM card (in the US that means non-AT&T) works on the iPhone. If you're using an AT&T card, you don't need to unlock, but you can still jailbreak. You need to run a software not authorized by Apple to do the unlock, so to unlock you *need* to jailbreak.

    As for F-Secure, eh, fuck 'em. Their threat of Symbian viruses is also snake oil, it requires the most idiotic of idiots to see "Hmm someone wants to send me something over BlueTooth. OK I'll accept. Transfer finished. Let's open it. Oh it wants to install an app, should I install or should I deny?" and F-Secure sells you unproven protection if you say "install". Goddamnit, if you are so goddamned dumb, you deserve to get swindled by this company.

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