Proof-of-concept iPod virus discovered

Proof-of-concept iPod virus discovered

Summary: The virus, named Podloso, does not pose a real threat but signals an intent by malware authors to move beyond computers and smart phones.

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TOPICS: Apple, Security
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Russian anti-virus specialists Kaspersky Lab has discovered what is believed to be the first proof-of-concept virus designed specifically to infect Apple's iPod devices.
iPod
The virus, named Podloso,does not pose a real threat but signals an intent by malware authors to move beyond computers and smart phones.

According to Kaspersky Lab, the virus is a file which can be launched and run on an iPod.

It should be stressed that in order for the virus to function, Linux has to be installed on the iPod. If the virus is installed to the iPod by the user, the virus then installs itself to the folder which contains program demo versions. Podloso cannot be launched automatically without user involvement.

Once launched, the virus scans the device's hard disk and infects all executable .elf format files. Any attempt to launch these files will cause the virus to display a message on the screen which says "You are infected with Oslo the first iPodLinux Virus."

Podloso is a typical proof-of-concept virus. There are created to demonstrate that a specific platform is vulnerable but does not have a malicious payload.

Additionally, according to Kaspersky Lab, Podloso is unable to spread. The user has to save the virus to the iPod memory for the device to become infected. 

Topics: Apple, Security

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38 comments
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  • Hey Chicken Little...

    You seem to blow things waaaaaay out of proportion. First you came out and said XBOX Live had been hacked, when it was actually people calling and getting operators to give the theives information.

    Now, you state there is an IPod virus, but look at what you have to do to get the virus on there. The big thing is there has to be linux on it. If you are installing linux on your device, then you void the warrenty on the IPod anyway, as you are using it for other purposes than you intended.

    Stop running around and telling people the sky is falling.
    shaun.watson@...
  • This is so lame!

    This has to be the stupidest thing I've ever read. First you have to hack the IPOD and put Linux then you have to purposefully load the virus and install it then run. This is just STUPID!

    How's this any different than me putting Linux on my PC then reformating the NTFS partition holding all my Windows files where the end result is I lose my data?
    voska
    • Ah, yes the Amish virus!

      You have just received the Amish virus.
      Since we have no electricity or computers, you are on the honor system.
      Please delete all of your files on your hard drive. Then forward this message to everyone in your address book.
      We thank thee

      The real question is if all the human interaction is needed, or if they just didn't code automation. As reported, it's nothing. If it points to a hole that can be scripted, it could be dangerous.
      mdemuth
  • Accurate Headlines

    ZDNet should put more effort into creating accurate headlines instead of misleading sensationalist headlines. Maybe then more of its readers would take its articles seriously.

    As things stand now, ZDNet is simply a source for entertainment, not news.
    Randomly
    • Welcome to the world

      Of journalism, and the internet!
      Ole Man
  • That's a stretch

    This isn't an iPod virus, really. It's a Linux virus. And it isn't really a
    Linux virus. It's a malicious app that doesn't work behind the
    scenes. I can write an app that screws up a bunch of files if I click
    on it. That's all this is.

    Wake me when you've got something real to tell us about, thanks.
    Ronbo13
    • No kidding!

      Why was this article even written? Another proof-of-concept I've discovered is that an iPod can be permanently disabled by striking it with a hammer.
      eljay001
  • This is nonsense

    The only reason this type of article is posted is to generate hits. If the title of the article would have been "A proof-of-concept virus for iPods hacked with Linux discovered", do you think anyone would give a "click"? The author should be embarrassed to be associated with this kind of "journalism".
    Heart_Man_2000
    • Really?

      And what was the purpose of your post?

      Were you hoping someone would read it? Or maybe even reply? Really?

      I suppose you could say that it worked, eh?
      Ole Man
      • I think the purpose of his response is quite clear...

        He, along with everyone else that has posted (as far as I can see) think that the headline is misleading and there is no virus for the Ipod.
        shaun.watson@...
  • Not news, not a vulnerability, not a virus

    This isn't a proof-of-concept vulnerability for the iPod. It's proof that a machine
    running Linux can run applications. Duh. With no self-replication or transmission, it's
    not even proof that there is any vulnerability at all.
    TheBreen
  • For which iPods?

    Officially (see www.ipodlinux.org) Linux is supported on 1st through 3rd gen iPods. Granted, maybe someone else has figured out a way to get it running on 5th gen iPods, but I'm not aware of it at the moment.

    So, for Ryan to post a Video iPod (5th gen) pic in his article may be further misleading the severity (which isn't much) of this so called vulnerability.
    yyuko@...
  • This is pretty funny actually

    First, you have to put Linux on the device.

    WAIT, Linux? The only secure OS in the world? MY GAWD!!!

    Second, it's on an iPod.

    Harry Bardal, where are you? Please be grace us all here and tell us about the superior engineering that goes on at Apple now would you please? Surely the crack staff at Apple could have prevented people from mod'ing their iPod's from running some hippie OS, right?
    BFD
    • I've met people like you...

      ...trouble is, its hard to notice their faces when confronted by the large chip on their
      shoulders.
      Gordon Gonsalves
    • Apple and Hacks

      Actually, Apple is pretty cool about hacks. They just don't want their software
      running on anyone else's hardware. However, if you want to install something
      else on their hardware, they don't care. Doing so might void the warranty, but
      that's about it. Look at all the hacks and mods for Apple TV. Apple even helps
      users get Windows up and running on their Intel Macs.

      Apple knows that preventing people from modding something they've bought will
      only tick them off. They don't necessarily bless the activity, but they tend to
      quietly look the other way. This keeps their partners in the entertainment
      industries somewhat appeased while allowing their customers to do as they wish.
      Apple TV is a good example. I'm sure the studios wanted Apple to lock down the
      box and only support MP4. Apple did so, but made it trivial to get other formats
      up and running...if one is willing to make the effort. 95% of the public won't
      bother, and they know that.

      Don't confuse Apple's strong resistance to their software on other boxes with
      them not supporting hacks and mods to their own hardware (which generates
      most of their income; they are a hardware company, after all).
      robbyx
  • If this is a virus

    then so is fdisk and mkfs.
    Michael Kelly
  • Got it wrong in the first line

    "Russian anti-virus specialists Kaspersky Lab has discovered what is
    believed to be the first proof-of-concept virus designed specifically to
    infect Apple's iPod devices."

    Wrong.

    They didn't discover it. They wrote it. Which I guess is a form of discovery.

    It's also a nice way to drum up publicity.
    Hanineal
  • An AK-47 is more effective

    There was a story today that a soldier in Iraq got into a gun fight with
    an insurgent. His iPod took the bullet, slowing it down enough to allow
    the Kelvar vest to stop the bullet. The AK-47 appears to be the fastest
    Russian method of disabling the iPod as the iPod died. But then so did
    the insurgent.
    Ken_z
  • Exploding iPods!!!!!

    In other news, researchers have discovered that if you attach a stick of dynamite to an iPod and detonate it, the iPod will explode!!

    ZDNet, you should be ashamed of yourselves.
    RocketEater
    • Why?

      Did they dynamite an Ipod? Or blast it with an AK-47?
      Ole Man