First iPod Virus Discovered


Kapersky Labs reportedly has discovered the first ever virus designed to infect the most popular portable media player today, the iPod. However, the virus dubbed Podloso is only a proof of concept program and does not pose a real threat.

Podloso can be launched and run on an iPod, only if the device has Linux installed on it. Also, the virus has to be installed by the user and cannot be launched automatically without the user’s involvement. Once the virus is launched, it scans the iPod’s hard disk and infects all executable files with the .elf extension. If any of these infected files should be launched, the virus will display a message on the screen which says, “You are infected with Oslo the first iPodLinux Virus”.

As I mentioned earlier, the Podloso virus is only a proof of concept virus. Meaning it was created solely for the purpose of demonstrating the possibility of creating a virus that can infect a specific platform which in this case is an iPod running Linux. Podloso doesn’t have a malicious payload and is incapable of spreading on its own.

Although this is the first time to have a virus created to infect the iPod, this is not the first time for the iPod to carry a virus as it has happened before. Last year, Apple shipped some of this gadgets containing a Windows virus named RavMonE. This virus didn’t infect the iPod but was designed to infect Windows PCs when connected to the device.

After reading this story and giving it some thought, I believe that even if there was a real virus designed for the iPod, it won’t spread that much. The only way I can see it spreading among other iPods is if several iPods connect to the same infected computer. For me, the most vulnerable portable media player would be the Microsoft Zune as it’s operating system is based on Windows CE and has WiFi capabilities that can be used by the virus to spread itself to other Zunes.

Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

10 Comments

  1. JP Habaradas

    March 4, 2008 at 5:10 PM

    @doitz – Hi cuz! Yes, your iPod is safe if you only sync it to one computer and if you make sure your antivirus is always updated. :D

  2. doitz

    March 4, 2008 at 5:08 PM

    i guess i won’t be infected by this virus b’coz im only using one computer to sync my ipod:)

  3. JP Habaradas

    May 27, 2007 at 7:45 PM

    Yeah, it was all over the Technology news. :)

  4. development web

    May 27, 2007 at 7:33 PM

    Yep I do heard the story on google news which says…….Kaspersky Lab has discovered the first virus designed to infect iPod portable media players.

    Podloso, the virus, is unable to spread. The user has to save the virus to the iPod memory for the device to become infected.Podloso cannot be launched automatically without user involvement.Podloso, is a proof of concept program which does not pose a real threat.

  5. JP Habaradas

    May 24, 2007 at 3:43 AM

    @SexyMom – You don't have to warn them coz this is just a proof of concept virus which isn't a "real threat" yet. I hope you find your missing iPod and recover the one that got stolen. I don't think I'm the right person to ask that question or to give tips coz I don't even own an iPod or any type of mp3 player. Hehe :D

  6. SexyMom

    May 22, 2007 at 10:09 PM

    i've got to tell my kids. but first, i have to look for my iPod (he he he), it's been missing. bad thing, too, is that the iPod video of one of my sons has been stolen. tips, Jaypee, on how not to misplace an iPod or have it stolen?

  7. JP Habaradas

    May 21, 2007 at 2:24 PM

    @jhay – Hehe..same for me. I don't even have a mp3 player or any type of portable media player. :D

  8. jhay

    May 21, 2007 at 1:05 PM

    Not a problem for me, I don't have an iPod and I'm quite happy with my Creative MuVo. :D

  9. JP Habaradas

    May 21, 2007 at 7:33 AM

    @fruityoaty – True. Only a few people would even consider installing Linux into their iPods.

    True. Keeping a step ahead of hackers and other malicious users is one heck of a job but I'm sure it's fun and exciting. :D

  10. fruityoaty

    May 20, 2007 at 7:51 PM

    Yeah, no sweat over that iPod virus. I don't plan on installing Linux on it. :)

    One of the hardest gigs I had to do was software security testing a long time ago — I was way over my head at the time. Definitely not my expertise. I admire testers who do it though — not an easy thing, trying to be a step ahead of evil hackers, virus makers and their ilk.

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