Are iPhones Safe from Virus attacks?

December 18, 2017 | Views: 2715

Begin Learning Cyber Security for FREE Now!

FREE REGISTRATIONAlready a Member Login Here

In June 2012, Mikko Hypponen, an anti-virus veteran, shared an exciting tweet which said —

“iPhone is 5 years old today. After 5 years, not a single serious malware case. It’s not just luck; we need to congratulate Apple on this.”

It is a matter of time. During the past couple months, things have changed considerably. Most of us may not agree to this in the present day. Let’s look at Why!

Global Ransomware Outbreak

In the last two months, with the outbreak of the global cyber-attack crippling Windows-based systems, every user be it for Windows or Mac are now left wondering how secure they are in reality?               

WannaCry and Petya: Their Impact

The reason being, these severe vulnerabilities—WannaCry, Doxware and Petya have spread the destructive malware on a global scale. While the WannaCry impacted more than 230,000 PCs in over 150 countries including Britain’s National Health Service, German state railways, and Spanish phone company Telefónica. The second major global ransomware Petya affected several US and Europe organisations including Mondelez, Maersk, DLA Piper, and WPP advertiser.                

Up till date, these are considered as the worst ransomware attack for Windows users. Though these ransomware does not affect the Mac system yet, it does not claim that Mac users are completely secure against all types of ransomware.

Mac is to in Alarm

If we go by the Threat Report introduced by the McAfee Labs, Mac Malware has also enhanced a lot compared to last year. Fortunately, most of them are adware, but few of them are threats too. So, considering Mac complete secure is not viable.

What about iPhones? Are iPhones Safe from Virus attacks? Above all, is Apple still the frontrunner regarding Mobile Device Security like the way it was in 2012?

If these are the few questions that are triggering in your mind too, then, you need to explore further.

The same question—“Is Apple still considered as the security leader on mobile devices?” has also appeared on Quora, one of the widely renowned knowledge sharing platform.

In response to this, technology enthusiast Glyn Williams said-

Yes, Apple is still the security leader in mobile devices. The reason being, Apple directly updates the system software; therefore, there are no security holes as such.

Android Phone vs iPhone

Moving forward, he also states that on Android, a complex ownership chain is present between Google and the user.  Thus, in scenarios where Google does introduce the fixes, the manufacturers and carriers slow down them. So, on the whole, a significant section of Android handsets keeps running on the outdated software. But, do remember that Google’s built-in iPhone is an exception to it.

Another reason, the Google is not incentivised commercially for privacy, and as per its business model, it generates money by marketing users’ attention to the advertisers.  So, this model allows advertisers to track users and view what they are looking. Hence, there is no absolute privacy.

Lastly, he commented that Apple does not believe in such commercial incentive. Thus, there is no user data mining for financial interest. Hence, Privacy and Security are the USPs.

Of course, there were several worms back in past couple of years, but users can dismiss them as they were not serious. 

What Has Lookout Report for Comment?

The classic example of the same is Safari JavaScript pop-up scareware that was introduced in 2017. According to the Lookout Report, it abuses the pop-up dialogues handling in Mobile Safari. However, by clearing browser cache and by resorting Mobile Safari functionality, users can resolve it.

Verdict

Considering this, it won’t be erroneous to say iPhone as one of the safest mobile devices.

Keeping your iPhone Safe

Thankfully, Apple has a severe security screening that helps you keep your device safe and secure. All its apps stringently go through it before getting approval for the App Store.   For instance, security checks to download new apps, auto encryption of messages while using iMessage, etc. However, still, no device is completely secure and thus have vulnerabilities.

Few Preventive Tips for iPhone Security  

  • Backup regularly
  • Make sure to update iPhone software regularly
  • Say No to emails as well as links from strangers
  • Say No to Unfamiliar Websites
  • Say No to iPhone Jailbreak

One thing that still must be popping in your mind is, do you require an antivirus software?
Indeed, there are several antivirus programs for iPhones. However, a significant chunk of them is Apple’s duplicate.  So, if you need an added iPhone security, count on Apple’s built-in security options rather than anything else.

In Summation

Unquestionably, Leak ware, Adware, spyware, Malware, etc. are the ever-growing threats list for Mobile users, but fortunately, as compared to Windows and Androids users, iPhone is one of the safest and reliable smartphones. So, be a smart user, count on iPhone and stay risk-free with Apple’s dominant security provisions!

 

Reference:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/27/petya-ransomware-cyber-attack-who-what-why-how

https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/03/28/does-apple-still-lead-when-it-comes-to-mobile-device-security/#822de9b33a4a

https://www.theiphonewiki.com/wiki/Malware_for_iOS#Safari_JavaScript_pop-up_scareware_.28March_2017.29

 

 

Share with Friends
FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInEmail
Use Cybytes and
Tip the Author!
Join
Share with Friends
FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInEmail
Ready to share your knowledge and expertise?
3 Comments
  1. Also keep in mind that Apple pays to keep vulnerabilities a secret and doesn’t disclose all of their vulnerabilities that were found to the public in order to back up their marketing claims of being a more secure platform.

  2. Hi! Your Article is very misleading. There are more reasons behind why Apple products have fewer attacks. Worldwide they have a smaller market share then Microsoft and Android. As a hacker why would I go after iphone which in 2017 only had a 12% worldwide market share, whereas Android has approx 80% of a market share?

    This also being said more Corporations use Microsoft Windows than OS X, which we can show that Windows will be attacked more as companies are where you get the largest payoff.

    More targets = better chance of return or infection.

    This isn’t an Apple vs Android or Apple vs Microsoft, it’s pure numbers and rate of return. Think like a hacker, a con man or a very desperate guy at a bar with a 10 to 1 ratio of girls to guys.

  3. Hi! Your Article is very misleading. There are more reasons behind why Apple products have fewer attacks. Worldwide they have a smaller market share then Microsoft and Android. As a hacker why would I go after iphone which in 2017 only had a 12% worldwide market share, whereas Android has approx 80% of a market share?

    This also being said more Corporations use Microsoft Windows than OS X, which we can show that Windows will be attacked more as companies are where you get the largest payoff.

    More targets = better chance of return or infection.

    This isn’t an Apple vs Android or Apple vs Microsoft, it’s pure numbers and rate of return. Think like a hacker, a con man or a very desperate guy at a bar with a 10 to 1 ratio of girls to guys.

    References:

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/216459/global-market-share-of-apple-iphone/

    https://qz.com/826672/android-goog-just-hit-a-record-88-market-share-of-all-smartphones/

Comment on This

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Our Revolution

We believe Cyber Security training should be free, for everyone, FOREVER. Everyone, everywhere, deserves the OPPORTUNITY to learn, begin and grow a career in this fascinating field. Therefore, Cybrary is a free community where people, companies and training come together to give everyone the ability to collaborate in an open source way that is revolutionizing the cyber security educational experience.

Cybrary On The Go

Get the Cybrary app for Android for online and offline viewing of our lessons.

Get it on Google Play
 

Support Cybrary

Donate Here to Get This Month's Donor Badge

 
Skip to toolbar

We recommend always using caution when following any link

Are you sure you want to continue?

Continue
Cancel