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iPod proof-of-concept virus created

updated 04:55 pm EDT, Fri April 6, 2007

First iPod 'virus' created

Researchers at a Russian-owned security firm, Kaspersky Lab, claim to have developed the first virus designed to infect an iPod itself rather than a connected computer. Called "Podloso," the virus is actually a proof-of-concept designed to test the vulnerabilities of the player, and as such poses no immediate danger to iPod owners, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Infection requires two deliberate steps: users must first install a copy of the Linux operating system, and then install the virus, which contaminates essential files.

Though iPods are safe for the time being, experts warn that as with other exploits, it may only be a matter of time before a legitimate threat emerges.

"We've seen it happen over and over in the malware world," says Dee Liebenstein, the director of product management at SecureWave.

"Someone will do a test, creating a simple thing that does no real damage. Once hackers see that the approach works, they continue to tweak it and use it for malicious intent."

Moreover, Liebenstein notes that the danger will only increase with devices like the Apple iPhone, which runs a full-fledged operating system and may be correspondingly exposed to further viruses. Analyst Nick Selby of The 451 Group suggests, however, that attacks may be a long time in coming.

"There's often a long way to go from proof of concept to in-the-wild exploit."

by MacNN Staff




  1. chas_m




    "Infection requires two deliberate steps: users must first install a copy of the Linux operating system, and then install the virus, which contaminates essential files."

    Gosh! This could affect up to TWO iPod owners!! Stop the presses!!


  1. dscottbuch

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Once you put linux on the iPod hardware its no longer an 'iPod'. How is this an iPod vulnerability???? This is a linux vulnerability!!!!!!!!!

  1. tindrum

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I've Done It!

    Several times, already, I've noticed that I've accidentally installed linux on my iPod. I think many people have. I've also been buried alive twice, had my liver taken out by thieves, and forgotten to bring money, and only realized it after eating the whole meal at a restaurant.

  1. zl9600

    Joined: Dec 1969




  1. rvhernandez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Linux on iTunes

    Yeah, I bought Linux on iTunes and it installed itself onto my iPod.

    I agree with "dscottbuch", this is a Linux on an unsupported hardware problem.

  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Linux doesn't belong NET

    Linux doesn't belong on an iPod! Don't put linux on your iPod and download c*** on it and you won't get a virus. This proves absolutely nothing except that Linux is just as prown to viruses as Windows. Another reason to use OSX. Oh and the iPhone uses OSX so the chances of a virus on the iPhone are ZERO as well. Another FUD story from people who don't know anything about OSX and Apple products in general.

  1. mjhamson

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPod Virus ?

    If this is an iPod Virus.. that means... there are 100s of thousands of actual factual Mac Viruses in the wild.. and its TRUE.. the reason being... you can remove Mac OS X and install Windows on a modern day Mac. So thus... you have over 100,000 viruses for the Mac.

    Cannot believe that MacNN even ran this story. This headline is nothing more then a visitor generator!!!! shame on YOU!

  1. lockhartt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    proof of concept?!

    What kind of lunacy is this?

    Let me see if I get this straight... If I remove the installed OS and replace it with another OS with known vulnerabilities I can then infect it with a virus?

    The urge to unleash an avalanche of sarcasm is so strong I can't stand it... but I must fight it back.

    If there was ever a poster child for FUD, Kaspersky just took that title away with this one.

  1. Khama

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Please post REAL stories

    I have been reading MACNN for years now, and this is the fist time I have posted.

    I cant believe how downhill Macnn has gone in its searching for stories. This is ABSOLUTELY NOT news to iPod owners, and I feel like macnn has been glamorizing and sometimes making up headlines lately, just to get website hits and visitors.

    The title of this story is completely false, and if the downward spiral of Macnn's stories continues, then I think I may have to find a new site for Mac news ...... as Macnn seems to have lost its way!

  1. jasong

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Video Presentation

    I was going to give a video presentation of this attack, but Apple has threatened to neuter my cat if I show it.

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