The Telegraph’s misleading headline: ‘iPad users targeted by hackers’

Apple Online Store“Security experts have warned that Apple iPad users are being targeted by cyber criminals. Hackers are trying to dupe iPad owners in to downloading a fake iTunes update on their Windows computer, which, when installed, creates a backdoor for cyber criminals, allowing them to remotely access the machine or even use the computer to send spam messages,” Claudine Beaumont reports for The Telegraph under the misleading headline, “iPad users targeted by hackers.”

MacDailyNews Take: Just to make things crystal clear: Mac and iPad users are unaffected.

Beaumont reports, “‘The trick is pretty simple,’ said Catalin Cosoi, a senior researcher for BitDefender, which uncovered the scam. ‘They’re clever to do it this way. If they were able to target Mac customers, it would have spread like wildfire, but because most antivirus companies detect this Trojan, it’s aimed at Windows users who have bought an iPad and who also don’t run a security product.'”

MacDailyNews Take: “If” said Caitlin. A big, fat, “If.” Hope springs eternal among the leeches. The fact is, and it’s painful for WIndows sufferers and the companies that exploit their stupid choice, for over 10 years and counting, “they” have not been able to successfully target Mac customers and have anything “spread like wildfire.”

Beaumont reports, “BitDefender has advised iPad owners not to click on any links that appear in dialog boxes or alerts, and to download iTunes directly from the Apple website. The company also emphasised that the iPad itself remained unaffected by the Trojan.”

MacDailyNews Take: Along with the iPad, the Mac is also unaffected, to be perfectly clear – unlike The Telegraph’s headline and their quoted leech.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If you’re a Windows-only sufferer who just wandered in here from Google News or somewhere: Newsflash – Windows sucks. It’s a security nightmare. Get a Mac and be happy with your computer for a change.

21 Comments

  1. She should probably have put “owners” not “users”. No big deal, though.

    BitDefender is looking for customers. It only just brought out a new Mac AV and contacted the press with dire warnings for Mac users a few days ago:

    “The company says that while Apple systems have traditionally remained sheltered from virus’s and other forms of malware, hackers are increasingly creating threats to exploit the vulnerabilities in Mac OS X and popular Mac applications. Bitdefender claims there are currently more than 270 different know [sic] threats targeting Mac OS X operating systems.”

    http://www.digitalhome.ca/2010/04/bitdefender-announces-anti-virus-software-for-os-x/

    That one had me laughing.

  2. Here’s an interesting quote from the BitDefender spokeswoman given by MDN above:

    “If they were able to target Mac customers, it would have spread like wildfire, but because most antivirus companies detect this Trojan, it’s aimed at Windows users who have bought an iPad and who also don’t run a security product.”

    AFAIK, nearly as many iPad owners own a PC as own a Mac. So she’s not talking about numbers here. What she’s implying is that — ta-dah! — a security product (such as is supplied by — cough — BitDefender) would catch a Trojanized download in its tracks.

    However, most Mac users don’t run AV …

    Well, (a) it wouldn’t if the “signature” for the Trojan wasn’t already in the AV scanner’s database, and (b) doesn’t matter if you don’t go around clicking links in emails and downloading, installing and running stuff without thinking.

    They know “iPad” is a headline draw, but they also want to sell that new Mac AV:

    “If they were able to target Mac customers, it would have spread like wildfire”

    Of course the most interesting thing is this: if you reckon iPad owners will be a target of opportunity right now, you try to persuade them to download something to their PC. It would probably, sorry MDN, work with Mac users, too. But what you don’t bother doing is attacking the iPad directly. Far more difficult. You’ve got software that’s vetted and delivered over iTunes; you’ve got sandboxing; you’ve got digital signatures.

    That thing’s locked down tighter than a Scotsman’s sporran.

  3. I don’t believe it! It’s just not possible.
    The iPad represents such a tiny fraction of the numbers of Macs out there in the wild and we’re always being told that it is the Mac’s low numbers that protect it and prevent hackers from going after the Mac OS.

    There must be some mistake. If a market of 100 million Mac users isn’t a target because of its obscurity, why would any hacker/virus/malware creator waste his time on the less than 1% market share of the miniscule, limited, USA only, iPad?????

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