iPhone Trojan discovered in the wild

Summary:The first iPhone Trojan has been seen in the wild, according to security vendors.

The first iPhone Trojan has been seen in the wild, according to security vendors.

The first warnings about the Trojan were posted on Saturday on the iPhone modification forum ModMyiFone.com, said security vendor F-Secure. When installed, the Trojan appeared to do nothing more than display the word "shoes", according to the ModMyiFone post.

However, when a user attempted to uninstall the malicious code, the application wiped files from the /bin directory, breaking "Erica's Utilities" such as sendfile. Erica's Utilities are a collection of command-line utilities for the iPhone, according to security vendor Symantec, which warned on Monday that the Trojan also overwrites OpenSSH, an open-source encryption protocol. The Trojan, known as "iPhone firmware 1.1.3 prep", or "113 prep", is the first to be seen in the wild, according to Symantec researcher Orla Cox.

"This is technically the first Trojan horse seen for the iPhone; however, it does appear to be more of a prank than an actual threat," Cox wrote in a blog post. "The impact of uninstalling the 'Trojan' would appear to be an unintended side effect."

Affected users need to uninstall the Trojan and reinstall affected files, according to Symantec. The risk to users is minimal as they would have to choose to install the bogus package and the site which was hosting it has now been taken offline, wrote Cox.

Both Symantec and F-Secure warned that users should be cautious when installing third-party iPhone applications. Apple warned in September last year that its own updates could break unlocked iPhones running unofficial iPhone software.

Topics: Symantec, Apple, iPhone, Malware, Mobility, Security

About

Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com, writing about all manner of security and open-source issues.Tom had various jobs after leaving university, including working for a company that hired out computers as props for films and television, and a role turning the entire back catalogue of a publisher into e-books.Tom eventually found tha... Full Bio

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