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Need For Speed Triggers Bug on iOS5 Devices

For years, iOS smartphones have been touted as safer and less prone to infection than counterparts running other mobile operating systems. One of the most important actions taken by the Cupertino-based vendor is to bring all the applications under serious scrutiny before making them available on the App Store.

However, new research by former NSA analyst Charlie Miller demonstrated that the iOS vendor has disabled a security restriction that prevents JavaScript code from running in a privileged area of the OS in order to boost performance.

This breach allows an attacker to use an apparently innocuous application to download and execute potentially malicious code on the victim mobile device.

According to a report by ComScore, iOS is the world’s most popular operating system in the tablet/mobile segment with a market share of about 27%. iOS is in the cyber-criminals’ crosshair. And, in the light of Miller’s research, it seems that wither blacklisting, or whitelisting can’t offer total protection: an idea that iOS users are confident in.

This incident reveals that any application that communicates with the Internet can be a source of infection, regardless of how safe it has been rated at a specific time.  In more than 10 years of existence, Bitdefender has offered security solutions that rapidly adapt to the e-threat landscape. We witnessed rudimentary malware morphing into advanced tools of cyber-crime that called for advanced heuristics and filtering mechanisms. In a moment where most users rely on mobile devices to stay permanently connected, there are two alternatives to keep them safe. One would be to limit the way they interact with the Internet, which defeats the purpose of mobile devices. The other alternative involves adding anti-malware technologies, as they can not only identify existing e-threats, but also intercept and block the execution of potentially unsafe code based on advanced detection algorithms.

What do you think about the necessity of a software security solution on iOS-powered mobile devices? Drop us your thoughts via the comment form below!

About the author


Bogdan Botezatu is living his second childhood at Bitdefender as senior e-threat analyst. When he is not documenting sophisticated strains of malware or writing removal tools, he teaches extreme sports such as surfing the web without protection or rodeo with wild Trojan horses. He believes that most things in life can be beat with strong heuristics and that antimalware research is like working for a secret agency: you need to stay focused at all times, but you get all the glory when you catch the bad guys.