Viruses and malware used to plague mostly windows-based computers, but with the rise in the popularity of Apple, thanks to the iPhone and the iPad, hackers may be starting to change their target.
It's a relief if you scan your Apple laptop or desktop computer and find the Flashback Trojan isn't there. Apple says it's unique to its OS X operating system, caused by vulnerability in a Java plug-in. The news has sent jitters among iPhone and iPad users, a fast-growing group. "Now, a false sense of security because I used it freely wherever I was, so I knew that wouldn't happen. So, I definitely won't use it the same way," iPhone user Victoria Treece told ABC7.
Apple says not to worry. The iPhone and the iPad use the IOS operating system, which doesn't run Java, and it makes sure applications downloaded from its online store are safe. "I think if you jailbreak your phone and you are installing apps that haven't been vetted by Apple, that you are at a greater risk. But for right now, I think it's pretty safe to say that IOS is the safest of the mobile platforms," CNET Senior Editor Seth Rosenblatt says.
But there are security experts who think that won't be true for long. "They'll be under more and more attacks. It's a natural thing," Jay Chaudhry says. He points out that there are no anti-malware protection programs for Apple's mobile devices. "By keeping the system closed, there are advantages of saying I don't let too many people have access to it, but by opening up the system, you have larger communities who can participate and find things and fix it."
Security incursions are no longer games hackers play. It's a big business, stealing passwords and financial information often kept on iPhones and iPads.