Kaspersky Lab claims discovery of first Apple iPod virus (proof of concept, no real threat)

Avril LavigneKaspersky Lab today claimed discovery of the first virus designed to infect iPod portable media players. “The virus, which has been named Podloso, is a proof of concept program which does not pose a real threat,” Kaspersky Labs reports.

“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,” Kaspersky Labs reports.

Kaspersky Labs reports, “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. Such viruses are created in order to demonstrate that it is possible to infect a specific platform. They do not have a malicious payload. Additionally, Podloso is unable to spread. The user has to save the virus to the iPod memory for the device to become infected. Podloso has no malicious payload, and does not present a real threat; it simply demonstrates that it is, theoretically possible to create malicious programs for such devices,” Kaspersky Labs reports.

Full article here.
So, first you install Linux on your iPod, then you find this virus file and run it, and then your iPod has a “virus” that’s unable to spread itself? If so, here’s the first Mac OS X “virus:” write an AppleScript that trashes a file, folder full of files or maybe even a whole drive – on your Mac. Save it as an app. Run it. Voila! Alert the headline writers and get the clueless AP reporters on the case!

Give us a break.


  1. Just proves that OSX and Apple hardware are safer than Linux and Windows now doesn’t it. First you have to install linux on the iPod which doesn’t belong there in the first place, and then install some crap software to get a linux virus, not an iPod virus. It can’t spread by itself so it just means you have to be stupid to do both before you can prove that you are really stupid and get a Linux stupid virus.

    Which means that the iPod doesn’t get a virus, Linux does. The whole story is FUD since linux doesn’t belong on the iPod to begin with.

  2. I literally LOL’ed when I read.

    “It should be stressed that in order for the virus to function, Linux has to be installed on the iPod.”

    What? How many iPods have Linux on them?

    Macs are, in fact, just as susceptible to viruses as PCs. It should be noted that in order for the virus to function, Windows has to be installed on the Mac.

  3. All Apple product viruses work under carefully controlled laboratory conditions. Part of the conditions usually involve that somehow the admin account is comprimised..again somehow.

    Vista viruses occur “in the Wild” and require no laboratory of suppositions.

    I’ll take my chances with Apple any day of the week.

    Just my $0.02

    P.S. Please feel free to put Avril Lavigne ads on every article. In fact you can make the page 90% Avril image and 10% article and it’ll be okay.

  4. “It should be stressed that in order for the virus to function, Linux has to be installed on the iPod.”


    It should be stressed that in order for the virus to function, Windows has to be installed on the Mac.

  5. i prefer the honor virus:

    “if you reading this web page you have been struck by the Mac honor virus. please delete 3 items at random from your harddisk and copy this virus into all of your outgoing mail and documents. thank you.”

    magic word “services” as in sarcasm is just one of the many services i currently offer.

  6. > “Comment: From: The Other Steve
    > If it can’t spread then it is not a virus.
    > Trojan horse maybe, but not a virus.”

    Correct. Here is the categorization system in outline form:

    I) Malware
    A) Virus – Runs spontaneously without involvement of the user. Infects copies of itself into the user’s media. Commonly damages the user’s media. Spontaneously spreads copies of itself from one user to another.
    B) Trojan Horses – Cannot run themselves spontaneously, but require being run by the user. Can infect copies of itself onto the user’s media. Commonly damages the user’s media. Cannot spontaneously spread itself from one user to another. Instead it must be spread by the user.
    C) Worms…
    D) Spyware…
    E) Bots…
    F) Root Kits…

    Kaspersky know this system. Shame on them for calling this malware a ‘virus’. Who cares what programmer of the malware calls it? He got it wrong, as did Kaspersky. It is a Trojan.

    >Third, if you have to install Linux then it is not an iPod
    > virus/program/Trojan thingy. It’s a Linux thingy!”

    Correct. This malware has NOTHING to do with the iPod Apple sell. The iPod has to be HACKED to be susceptible to this Trojan. Again, shame on Kaspersky.

    This malware should correctly be called:

    ‘The iPod Linux Podloso proof-of-concept Trojan horse.’

    End of story. Go back to your homes. False alarm. The perpetrators will be properly ridiculed.


  7. Perhaps Kaspersky should be given an award. They have single handedly put the final nail in the coffin of the “Security by Obscurity” claims. . .

    . . . they have found a virus that has been written to infect all five of the iPods in the world with LINUX installed. . .

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