updated 12:10 am EST, Wed January 9, 2008
First iPhone Trojan attack
The iPhone recently fell victim to its first Trojan attack, which came in the form of a malicious file named "113 prep". While installation of the phony application is relatively benign - the app merely says "shoes" when activated - uninstalling the file causes damage to or deletes system-critical files in the /bin directory on the iPhone. In addition to harming the devices own software, third party utilities are also being rendered useless through the same means. This attack was orchestrated by an 11-year-old, and has some modmyifone.com forum members laughing to ease the pressure using references to the 1995 film Hackers, due to the similarity of circumstances.
Security blog F-Secure warns users to be wary, however; speaking to the modding community, blogger Jarno writes "Hopefully this serves as a warning for those who have opened their iPhones using a security hole in the system and then installing unverified software without a second thought to what they are doing."
He continues, "This time it was an 11-year-old kid playing with XML files who created the trojan. Next time it might be someone else with more skills and with specific target."
Any web sites that distributed the content have been made aware of the issue, and assured their sites are free of the problem.
Despite offering an upcoming official option for installing third party applications onto the iPhone and iPod touch, "jailbreaking" the devices remains popular. Jailbreaking allows users to install applications that range from video game emulators and fitness trackers, to instant message programs and online shopping portals.