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Backdoor Malware Targets Apple iPad 196

An anonymous reader writes "Apple iPad users are being warned of an email-borne threat which could give hackers unauthorised access to the device. The threat arrives via an unsolicited email urging the recipient to download the latest version of iTunes as a prelude to updating their iPad software. Apart from opening up a backdoor, it also tries to read the keys and serial numbers of the software installed on the device, and logs the passwords to any webmail, IM or protected storage accounts."
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Backdoor Malware Targets Apple iPad

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  • Wrong wrong wrong... (Score:5, Informative)

    by richy freeway ( 623503 ) * on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:04AM (#31998088)
    This DOESN'T infect the iPad at all. It targets the idiots who bought an iPad but it is a WINDOWS virus.

    See here for further details : http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/26/ipad_backdoor/ [theregister.co.uk]
      • Malicious modding. Some people throw a hissy fit when their FUD is debunked. It doesn't matter if the FUD is anti-Microsoft, anti-Apple, anti-Google, or anti-something-else. People who like the FUD don't like hearing that it's BS, and people who really love FUD are often petty and malicious.

      • Why modded Flamebait??

        If I had to guess, I'd say it's because they called people who bought iPads "idiots."

    • by alphad0g ( 1172971 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:18AM (#31998298)
      I concur. Article is incorrect and Slashdot just regurgitated it. At least the blog post by the original author is correct. A Windows trojan - nothing else.
      • Exactly. Its a Windows Trojan that happens to target iPad owners. Its no different than any other trojan mailware targeting users of windows that happen to own some other product, like all the "symbian viruses"

        The only concern is the iPad can in fact be access such, which I'm sure is a door apple will close quickly (and its likely a door firmware hackers have enjoyed using for some time to jailbreak the iPhone OS, so yet again that door will likely be closed, and apple will get blamed for blocking jailbre

    • I was already wondering, wasn't the whole ban around unsigned software on i$whatever devices to keep malware from popping up?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by NatasRevol ( 731260 )

        Yep, and it works great.

        This infection is a windows virus that runs on the windows machine, then tries to identify information being sent from the windows machine to the iPad, disguised as an iTunes update. It's a classic man-in-the-middle attack.

        • by Wingsy ( 761354 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @12:03PM (#32000618)
          I read the original blog from the original author, and he said, "Backdoor.Bifrose.AADYattempts to read the keys and serial numbers of the various software installed on the affected computer, while also logging the passwords to the victim's ICQ, Messenger, POP3 mail accounts, and protected storage."

          Nowhere does it imply that any information being sent from the windows machine to the iPad is being read or intercepted. It's just your typically hosed Windows box.
          • Looks like you lost the part where it says:

            An e-mail invitation to an iTunes update gets iPad users’ PCs into backdoor trouble.

            It's after the heading and before the text of the blog post. Usually called caption.

            • by Wingsy ( 761354 )
              I know what it says. I was responding to the post by NatasRevol where he said the malware tries to identify info sent to an iPad. It doesn't say that in BitDefender's blog post.

              http://www.malwarecity.com/blog/ipad-users-targeted-by-backdoor-dissembled-as-itunes-update-803.html [malwarecity.com]
              • Oh right, sorry! No, according to the blog post, the iPad itself would not be involved at all. "iPad" there is just an excuse to lure the iPad owner to install a malware that affects the Windows PC like any other malware would.

                The misunderstanding comes from this difference:

                Blog post:

                (...) opens up a backdoor that allows unauthorized access to and control over the affected system. (...) attempts to read the keys and serial numbers of the various software installed on the affected computer (...)


                (...) opens up a backdoor which could let the perpetrator gain unauthorised access to the device (...) tries to read the keys and serial numbers of the software installed on the device (...)

        • by spitzak ( 4019 )

          It sounds like the trojan is completely generic. It does not do anything about the iPad at all, it is designed to spy on the user's Windows use.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

      Unfortunately, "Backdoor Malware Targets iPad Users" wouldn't have had the word "Apple" in it, and thus would not be eligible to be a headline on Slashdot.

    • Yes, thank you... Anyone with iTunes should ALSO know, most especially Windows users who raised quite the stink about it, that ALL apple software is updated EXCLUSIVELY through the Apple Software Update Utility, and that Apple NEVER advertises updates through anything resembling SPAM mail.

    • This DOESN'T infect the iPad at all. It targets the idiots who bought an iPad but it is a WINDOWS virus.

      Uh. I wasn't aware the iPad even ran Windows.

  • Yes the headline is true, but it is certainly misleading.

  • Is it common for software to announce updates via email? Given that the device would presumably have a net connection, any legit updates ought to be pushed out through the iTunes store.

    • Operating system updates are pushed out through iTunes when the phone/iPod is docked. Other app updates are pushed out OTA. There is no e-mail involved. I suspect the iPhone platform is not the only one that has users receiving such e-mails.

  • Great quote from the UK article: "Since buyers are likely to have a lot of disposable income and not much sense...." TFA is wrong - malware is aimed at the Winbloz boxen, by offering a download of a "new iTunes" program. Macs and iPads are not impacted.
    • The plural of box is boxes ... please stop trying so hard to sound smarter than you are.

    • by mgblst ( 80109 )

      So people who do not have much sense get an iPad and a windows machine? Because this doesn't affect people who are running Mac OS?

      So you are suggesting that all people with iPads/iPhones/iPods should get rid of their virus-ridden Windows box?

  • Clarification... (Score:3, Informative)

    by clone53421 ( 1310749 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:14AM (#31998222) Journal

    An e-mail, purporting to be from Apple, informs people that their iPad needs to be updated. Steps given for updating your iPad:

    1) Download an iTunes update for Windows (itunes.exe) and install;
    2) Connect your iPad to the Windows computer;
    3) Select iPad in the iTunes sidebar;
    4) Click “Check for update” then “Update” to finish updating your iPad’s software.

    Note that there’s no legitimate reason that you’d ever need to connect the iPad to a second computer to update it. It has its own internet connection.

    Needless to say, your Windows computer will be infected with the virus if you execute the itunes.exe that you were instructed to download and install. It appears that your iPad will be none the worse for having an idiot for an owner.

    • by danaris ( 525051 ) <danaris@[ ].com ['mac' in gap]> on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:18AM (#31998294) Homepage

      Note that there’s no legitimate reason that you’d ever need to connect the iPad to a second computer to update it. It has its own internet connection.

      Now, I don't have an iPad, so I don't know how they're updated, but the iPhone and iPod touch, which also have their own internet connections, get software updates through iTunes, over USB.

      This is how it's always been done.

      Dan Aris

    • Note that there's no legitimate reason that you'd ever need to connect the iPad to a second computer to update it. It has its own internet connection.

      Er, just like my iPhone? Which requires being connected to a second computer to update it?

  • by RemoWilliams84 ( 1348761 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:18AM (#31998292)

    I'm disappointed that there have been no Apple User/Backdoor jokes in this story yet. I'll check back in an hour. Don't kill my faith in /.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by iceborer ( 684929 )
      This scheme has no chance of success. No self-respecting Apple user would allow anything in their backdoor that didn't come dressed in a turtleneck and jeans.
  • What if someone wrote a virus that automatically jailbroke any apple device connected to iTunes and installed an alternate way of putting apps on the device?

    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      The original iPhone jailbreak was via visiting a particular webpage in mobile safari.

  • The title of the article should read, "iPad owners take it in the backdoor!" haha
  • You have to download the trojan named itunes.exe and run it.

    This is a "virus" now? What do you call stuff that spreads itself without user intervention... trojans?

    How about autorun infections from USB keys... phishing?

  • You left your terminal logged in and kdawson has been posting stories under your ID again.
  • Note that this is another Windows virus that affects only Windows PCs.
    It does NOT affect iPads or any Mac products.
    BitDefender is likely using the iPad's popularity to widen
    their Windows anti-virus audience. Most everyone knows
    that Macs do not use .exe files used by virus writers to perpetrate
    Windows viri. Nice attempt at publicity!

    • by olafva ( 188481 )

      A bit more about malware on Mac Products:
      By the way, many hear Macs have no better security than Windows PCs. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is NOT simply “Security by Obscurity” (10% of laptop Market). Mac security problems (viri etc.) reported have been related to old pre-OSX O/S, Officeand other M$ products run on Macs, pfishing attacks etc. Macs don’t recognize .exe files,and most importantly default privlidges do not allow any “foreign” software to be installe

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.