Adware and virus-infected malware is everywhere; taking over your computers, smartphones, tablets and just about anything else that can be connected to the internet. It’s a problem so rampant these days, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re also hiding under your bed or in your closet.
OK, that last part was an exaggeration, but if you look at a lot of our recent stories about adware here at komando.com for instance, you’ll see a big area of focus has been on the Google Play Store. That includes more trouble last week.
They just don’t run the most secure ship when it comes to what apps they let in, and crooks continue to find new ways to get around Google’s virtual checkpoints to eventually compromise your Android smartphones.
That’s a big reason for the long-standing assumption that Androids are more prone to to these risks, and that iPhones are completely safe because of their air-tight “walled garden.” But not so fast; your iPhone could also be at risk in ways that could surprise you.
Viruses versus iPhones
Thanks to Apple’s tight grip, it’s pretty difficult for malware to make it into their iOS App Store and onto your iPhone. Which would also cover any viruses hidden inside said malware. It’s not impossible, though, it’s just easier for hackers to go after Android and their abundance of users instead. Like I said, it’s not as secure and since Android has a whole host of phone manufacturers, it can take a while to take corrective action.
But it’s not that simple. Digital Trends spoke with Maik Morgenstern, the chief technology officer for AV-Test, and when asked if iPhones can get viruses, he said yes — in theory.
In fact, malware has actually made it into the App Store in the past, infecting legitimate apps. For example, cybercriminals were once able to trick developers into using a version of Apple’s development tool that was counterfeit.
There have also been previous vulnerabilities in iOS, most notably used by the CIA to break into phones according to documents published by Wikileaks a couple of years ago. Most of those issues have since been patched, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t others hackers are working to exploit.
Does your iPhone have a virus?
If you ever have unknowingly invited malware in to crash the party on your iPhone, it could be hard to detect.
Digital Trends says false positives are a lot more common than real problems. An old battery, something changing in settings or an app with questionable coding might make you think malware has infected your iPhone.
If there are still issues after you’ve looked at those probable culprits, then yes, it’s possible your iPhone’s been infected. Morgenstern says it’s not likely though, unless it’s jailbroken.
But if you’re not convinced, back up the data through iTunes and run a factory reset. Aside from that, don’t jailbreak your iPhone and always install new updates that could correct existing security vulnerabilities.
So although, yes, it’s possible for your iPhone to get a virus from malware and phishing attempts, staying vigilant should keep your iPhone malware-free. And check back here soon for the next round of apps that will eventually be removed from the Google Play Store because of adware or malware. It’s only a matter of time.
Shocking research: Most antivirus programs don’t work
With sybercriminals running amok throughout the internet, you’re probably concerned for the safety and security of your computer — and that means antivirus software. But guess what? Most don’t work.