One major advantage iOS users have always had on Android is that viruses are a complete afterthought, thanks to Apple’s stronger defences to cyber-baddies.
However, now it seems that those afterthoughts could well become much more serious, after a dangerous iOS bug has begun hitting users in Asia.
The piece of malware, which is called WireLurker has already infected over 350,000 devices, and is threatening to attack even more Apple based handsets.
The virus works by being inserted into dodgy apps on a third-party Mac OS X app store, which are then downloaded onto computers which in turn infect any iOS devices then attached to the system.
The unique quality of the malware is that it’s the very first virus that is able to attack non-jail broken Apple handsets, meaning that every global iPhone user is at risk.
Once WireLurker manages to get onto your iOS device it can cause some real damage, mainly by stealing information from any part of your phone, including text messages and other forms of communication.
Also, the hackers behind the virus are also said to be constantly updating its software, making it much harder for Apple to isolate the bug and eradicate it from their system.
iOS users are being advised not to download any apps from third-party stores, and only use Apple’s official app store.
Also, it has asked that Mac OS X users ensure that the system isn’t downloading non-Apple files automatically.
Users without Macs are being advised not to connect their iPhones to unknown computers, and to use only their own accessories as infected cables and other devices can continue to spread the bug.
Whilst the virus can affect non-jail broken handsets, it is still more likely that jail broken phones will pick up the malware, so as always Apple has asked users not to undergo this process with their handsets.
This is yet another damaging story to hit the press for Apple, after the recent ‘iCloud hack’ of celebrity pictures took place earlier this year, an event Apple claimed was down to user’s passwords being guessed by hackers.
Android users are far more accustomed to malware and other computer viruses hitting their handsets, mainly because of the Google Play Store’s lack of security when uploading apps.
However, apps like AVG and other anti-virus software is available on Android, it is much less common on iPhone’s, making it easier for this latest bug to spread unhindered.
There is some good news for iOS users in the UK and other Western territories though, as whilst the virus has been prevalent in China, it is unlikely to be as hard hitting here.
Of course, all iPhone users should beware of any suspicious apps or downloads on their devices, and report any issues directly to Apple if problems do arise.
Written by Luke Hatfield