iPhone an ideal target for hackers and trojans

by Dhiram Shah

Remember the Get a Mac ad highlighting the point that there are 114,000 known viruses for PC and none for Mac. As many would point out the main reason is that Apple has a much lower market share than Microsoft Windows-based PCs. A Trojan (malicious code) is written for financial gain, and it makes absolute sense to write one which affects 90% of computers running on Windows then the remaining 10%. Trojans, worms, and viruses for mobile phones are nothing new, infact we have come across several instances of outbreaks affecting Symbian Smartphones as well as a few running on Windows Mobile Platform. The two platforms will converge when the iPhone is released in the US on June 29th. The release will potentially make writing malicious code for both an Apple product and a mobile device irresistible to some attackers. The iPhone is mobile device platform based on Mac OS X that allows users to browse the web as well as send and receive HTML email with the Safari Web browser.

With the hype and as per the projections made by analysts iPhone adoption will be quite high this will allow attackers to target a larger audience with malicious code designed to run on the device. The main attack point would be the Safari web browser and HTML web capabilities. As recently demonstrated, Safari can be affected by vulnerabilities just as easily as other browsers on the market. Apple will surely issue patches to plug in the holes but will you download the patches on expensive data plans.