iPad anti-virus shield guards against phantom threat
'You'll thank us one day'
Mac security specialist Intego has begun offering the first antivirus scanner capable of inspecting Apple's much-hyped iPad, despite the questionable need for security scans on the device.
The iPad, which Apple began selling in the US last weekend, runs on the same operating system as the iPhone. Only jailbroken iPhones with default passwords have ever been infected with malware and even then only by a handful of high-profile worms, such as the Rickrolling worm in Australia and the D'oh bank credential stealing worm in the Netherlands, which both spread last November.
Whether either of these worms might be capable of infecting an iPad is unclear. Intego acknowledges there is no iPad malware to defend against as yet but argues it will be ready if and when the threat materialises.
"We're not saying there is malware in the wild," Peter James, an Intego spokesman explained. "But there are exploits that can take advantage of vulnerabilities."
James explained that the malware risk on the iPad, such as it is, mainly applies to devices that have been jailbroken to run apps not approved by Apple. Users of these devices can download cracked software that might pose a malware risk, or they could be exposed to future potential iPad-specific drive-by-download attacks while surfing online.
"Jailbreaking takes advantages of vulnerabilities," James told The Register. "Those users who don't jailbreak their devices have fewer security risks because they are protected by sandboxing. Jailbroken devices are not protected in same way.
"If and when iPad malware arrives we have the engine ready".
Intego's VirusBarrier X6 offers anti-virus protection for Mac PCs. A maintenance update to the software on Tuesday means that once an iPad is connected to a Mac the technology can copy files from the device and scan them to look for exploit code in files. Suspicious files are quarantined on the Mac and deleted from the iPad. Earlier updates along the same lines allowed files held on an iPhone to be scanned for problems.
"The software doesn't run on an iPad or iPhone itself. We're looking forward to multi-tasking that will make this possible and in the mean time offering the best we can," James said. "We can't detect things live but its the best compromise we can offer for now."
Intego's VirusBarrier X6 was promoted as the first anti-malware program to scan iPhones and iPod Touches. Now it gains the same bragging rights on the iPad.
Hundreds of malware strains are capable of infecting Mac-based PCs, compared to millions of Windows-specific malware varieties. Intego competes in the market to sell anti-virus software for Macs against the likes of Symantec and more recently Kaspersky.
The iPad-capable 10.6.5 version of VirusBarrier X6 is available as a free upgrade to existing users, as explained here. The software costs €59.95 for a licence covering two devices. ®
Exactly why should anyone cough up 60 real euros for 'protection' from something that does not exist? Even assuming that someday there may be something to defend against, why should anyone feel that these idiots will be in a position to offer any protection whatsoever against a threat they, by definition, know nothing about _because it's not bloody real yet_?! Why should anyone feel that these idiots will even still be in business? And, given that ClamXav is available for Mac OS X (http://www.clamxav.com/) and is _free_, and almost certainly will be ported to iPad, why should anyone cough up so much as a _penny_?! (No, I don't have ClamXav on my Macs; there's no current actual threat which would justify using it. I do know where to get it should an actual real threat arrive, though...)
Feh. Anyone who actually buys that product is probably also in the market for some nice ocean-front property in Zimbabwe. Bobby Mugabe just _loves_ white boys, really he does. Going cheap.
virus company scams
"Intego acknowledges there is no iPad malware to defend against as yet"
Doesn't Intego VirusBarrier X6 then qualify as the first piece of iPad malware?
I look forward to all the complaints if they ever allow stuff like this to work in the background.
"Why's my iPad half as fast and only got 3 hour battery life?"
Am I the only one desperately waiting for an AV product for my microwave oven? Sure, there's no viruses out there at the moment, but I just want to be prepared...
Hundreds of malware strains are capable of affecting Macs are they? lol
Yeah RIGHT! Maybe in the Intego labs. Not in the wild.
Mac OS X remains virus-free. 9 years and counting.
Daylight robbery and a disgusting way to peddle crapware to unsuspecting Windows-sufferers for whom AV software is the norm.
What load of complete and utter CRAP this is.