iOS users warned of new spyware threat

  • AFP
  • Updated: Feb 06, 2015 10:56 IST

Viruses are rare in the iOS environment overall, so a new threat always makes waves in the Apple community. Recently, antivirus software publisher Trend Micro alerted users to a new spyware program capable of lifting photos, text messages and contact data from iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices.

The new malware, which Trend Micro is calling XAgent, is said to be capable of collecting practically all of the data stored on an infected iOS device, including texts, photos, geo-localization data and information on apps installed, programs running and WiFi status. According to the software publisher, the program can also be configured to remotely activate audio recording via the microphone.

XAgent targets devices running iOS 7 and 8 alike, including jailbroken and non-jailbroken versions. On iOS 7, however, the icon is hidden and the program is capable of restarting itself, making it potentially more dangerous. With iOS 8, the user would be required to manually open the app for the malware program to run.

Trend Micro warns users not to click on any suspicious links, whether on the web or in emails, to avoid downloading and installing XAgent. Ensuring the latest iOS update is installed is another way to minimize risk.

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