Yes, Virginia, Malware Can Lurk on Your iPhone

iPhone with virus

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iPhone with virus

Apple security is really good, but saying you can’t get malware on an iPhone is a myth. Even a phone which was never jail-broken can still be vulnerable to attack.

 

Abandon your blind faith in the power of the app store, and learn more about what’s out there.

 

What Kind of Malware Shows up on iPhones?

 

The iPhone is more secure than the Android, but hackers will be hackers, and they’ve found quite a few workarounds.

 

Here are some examples of spyware which Apple has found on iPhones in the past.

 

They come bearing gifts.

 

The KeyRaider app of 2015 took advantage of user greed. It offered a way for you to make in-app purchases for free. It even allowed you to download paid App Store apps for free.

 

Then it stole your username, your password, and your credit card information. It also left users wide open to ransomware, programs which hold files hostage until you pay the hacker.

 

They piggyback off legitimate aps.

 

It is very hard to download a directly infected or compromised app from the app store.

 

But Apple recently detected some of its apps were talking to servers at Goldluck, a known malware company. These apps used the ads you expect to see in free apps and turns them into gateways. The user follows some action in the ad and ends up with malware they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.

 

You might not even notice, as the link may simply install a bit of code that compromises Apple’s protections, opening you up to other bits of malware later.

 

 

 

 

Spyware that’s even darker than what you might get on your computer.

 

It’s not great when your computer installs spyware. But when your iPhone does it? Watch out.

 

Because iPhone spyware can report your location to other people, snap photos without your consent, report your text messages to other people and in some cases record your conversations, either the ones you’re having on your phone on purpose or the ones you’re having near your phone, simply by secretly turning on the microphone.

 

Sometimes the malware doesn’t even come from shadowy criminal organizations deep in the heart of Russia. Sometimes governments are the culprit.

 

Sometimes Apps are Basically Malware Disguised as Something Marginally Useful

 

Apple scans apps for malware, and if they catch it they won’t let the app into the store. But that doesn’t mean every app you download is a good app for your phone.

 

Pay close attention to the permissions the app has requested. Keep in mind that “free” apps may take your data instead. The person behind that app is making their money somewhere. Some apps have “implied consent” language in their privacy policy (which most people don’t read), entitling them to collect and use your private data. 

 

Worse, they don’t always take the time to create an app that isn’t a real pain to begin with.

 

Fortunately, uninstalling the app can put a stop to whatever it’s doing. 

 

Signs You’ve Got Malware

 

While you could try to find a scanning app you trust, the phone will generally alert you itself. If your iPhone is infected you’ll typically see one of the following signs.

 

 

 

  • • The device starts acting oddly.
  • • Your iPhone is running slow.
  • • You see a rapid spike in data usage.
  • • Apps crash frequently.
  • • You get pop-ups.
  • • You see apps you don’t recognize or remember downloading.
  • • Your phone bill shoots up.
  • • Your battery drains faster, even if you replace it.
  • • The phone starts overheating.

 

Getting Rid of the Problem

 

There are a few steps you can take.

 

  • • Update your phone.
  • • Restart your phone
  • • Clear your history
  • • Restore from your last backup.
  • • Return the phone to factory settings.

 

If none of that works, head to the bar. The Genius Bar. You’ll find them inside of Apple stores. The tech support gurus at the Genius Bar have plenty of tools to find and remove malware.

 

Risk Management

 

There’s just no way to make any phone 100% malware-proof. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to protect yourself.

 

Never jailbreak your phone.

 

If you circumvent Apple’s security protections you can’t be surprised when someone really does get a nasty malware program onto your phone. There are thousands upon thousands of legitimate apps in the app store. Is the one requiring a jailbreak really more awesome than one of those?

 

 

 

Use the auto-update feature.

 

One nice thing about iPhones and malware: most of it doesn’t last long. Apple updates regularly and rolls those updates out to every device at once. But if you’re relying on yourself to know when to update you’ll probably miss them. Make sure you plug your phone in on update night too, if you’re in the middle of something when it makes the offer. It’ll update automatically if you do, but only if it’s charging.

 

Be extra vigilant about phishing.

 

There’s nothing your iPhone can do to protect you from a phishing attack. Nor can they stop them, especially not while you’re browsing the web or going through your emails. You don’t want to go through all the effort to avoid malware only to give the bad guys your information yourself.

 

Use a VPN.

 

Apple can’t control you from hackers exploiting insecure WiFi hotspots, either. Jump on the wrong one and a hacker can scrape your data without having to install something nasty on your phone. Using a VPN helps to ensure this doesn’t become a problem.

 

Disable Bluetooth when you’re not using Bluetooth devices.

 

Hackers can intercept a Bluetooth signal and use it to get into your phone. It’s impractical to avoid using Bluetooth for the rest of forever, just like it’s impractical to say you’re never going to open your door again. But that doesn’t mean you have to leave the door wide open.

 

Watch out for Adware removal apps.

 

Apple already let a spyware app claiming to be a spyware removal app into their Mac app store. It’s not inconceivable something similar could end up in the iPhone app store too. They often use names and icons very similar to the real thing to fool users into downloading their version.

 

 

 

 

Let Common Sense Prevail

 

While the iPhone may not be the bastion of security everyone thinks it is, it’s still more secure than other phones.

 

Hackers are just very determined people. Think of one way to block them, and they’re already thinking of three ways around it.

 

So it pays to stay both vigilant and educated. If something looks weird, don’t click on it and definitely don’t download it. Don’t leave your phone wide open to trouble and don’t assume everything’s going to be fine.

 

But once you’ve taken steps to protect yourself? Unless you’re seeing one of the signs listed above, you can probably feel safe using your phone without concern. if you followed all the step above and your iPhone still not working and need iPhone repair service visit your local batteries shack in sterling heights mi, and we will be able to assist you by removing the virus from you iPhone.

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