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Customised Worm Aims Dutch Jail-Broken iPhone Users

Leading antivirus firm F-secure has confirmed the existence of a new iPhone worm which is tailored to target users of Dutch online bank, ING Direct and is said to be more ‘malicious’ than the last one owing to its capacity to act like a botnet.

The worm, which is directing the users to a look-alike page of the bank’s website with a login screen, is targeting users in Netherlands who are using their iPhones for internet banking with ING Direct.

The worm is specifically targeting jail-broken iPhones, a technique which enables the user to download applications which are not authorized by Apple.

The users which have SSH file-transfer program are also said to be under threat. The worm enables the phone to be accessed or controlled remotely without the permission of its owner.

F-Secure research director Mikko Hypponen told the BBC that although the worm is isolated and is specific to Netherlands, there is a possibility that the worm could spread. He also added that the worm could jump from phone to phone among owners using the same Wi-Fi hotspot.

ING Direct has posted a warning on its website and is in the process of briefing its call-centre personnel. It is to be noted that the first iPhone virus was relatively harmless than the new one. Users with infected phones found their wallpaper replaced with a picture of 1980s popstar Rick Astley.

Our Comments

Apple will possibly tell these infected by the virus that it told them so. Jail-breaking an iPhone is like driving without safety belt. Can be extremely exciting but very dangerous. Apple said that it kept the App store approval process extremely tight to avoid these exact problems. Expect the forthcoming worms to be even nastier.

Related Links

Second iPhone worm behaves like botnet

(ZD Net Asia)

First malicious iPhone worm slithers into wild

(The Register)

New iPhone Worm Security Warning: Attacks Jailbroken SSH enabled Smartphone’s

(Phones Review)

Serious iPhone virus on the loose

(Broad band)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.