Apple + Security & Privacy

Rogue (Windows) Antivirus Optimized for iPhone

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In the Windows world, one major annoyance is rogue antivirus programs, that pretend to scan PCs, then tell users that they’re infected. Naturally, the solution is to buy the “antivirus program”, which is merely a bogus piece of software that does nothing. Since the users were not infected in the first place, the rogue antivirus software doesn’t cure any ills.

What these rogue antivirus programs do is present an animation in a web page – often full-screen – that shows a typical Windows computer, with animated scan progress bars. These can certainly fool plenty of users. We reported here that these programs can make as much as $10,000 a day.

So it was interesting when we stumbled on a rogue antivirus site optimized for the iPhone. Never mind the fact that the iPhone OS doesn’t look anything like Windows, the scareware web site showed a miniaturized Windows animation.

After “scanning” the iPhone, the site displays an alert, showing the types of malware that the device is harboring.

Of course, all this is worthless, because the site then tries to get the iPhone to download a .exe file, which the iPhone cannot save.

It’s odd that malware makers would go to this much trouble to create a mini-site optimized for the iPhone. Do they do this for Windows CE smartphones? We don’t have any such devices here, so we can’t try out these sites.

If you stumble on one of these sites, don’t worry. They won’t affect your iPhone.

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