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Kaspersky claims to find first iPod virus

By Paul McNamara on Thu, 04/05/07 - 11:01am.

While stressing that it poses no real threat, Russian security outfit Kasperky Lab is making note this morning of what it calls "the first virus designed to infect iPod portable media players."

Don't look to me to vouch for that "first" claim.

(Update, Friday: First it was an iPod virus, now we're talking iPod ban, or at least one vendor's attempt to stir one up.)

The Kaspersky alert comes riddled with ifs and buts, but here it is:

The virus, which has been named Podloso, is a proof of concept program which does not pose a real threat.

The virus is a file which can be launched and run on an iPod. It should be stressed that in order for the virus to function, Linux has to be installed on the iPod. If the virus is installed to the iPod by the user, the virus then installs itself to the folder which contains program demo versions. Podloso cannot be launched automatically without user involvement.

Once launched, the virus scans the device's hard disk and infects all executable .elf format files. Any attempt to launch these files will cause the virus to display a message on the screen which says "You are infected with Oslo the first iPodLinux Virus".

Podloso is a typical proof of concept virus. Such viruses are created in order to demonstrate that it is possible to infect a specific platform.

They do not have a malicious payload. Additionally, Podloso is unable to spread. The user has to save the virus to the iPod memory for the device to become infected. Podloso has no malicious payload, and does not present a real threat; it simply demonstrates that it is, theoretically possible to create malicious programs for such devices.

Not that you don't have enough to worry about already.

By the way, if you'd like to read Network World's recent interview with Eugene and Natalya Kaspersky, you can find it here.

(Update: Not everyone's impressed with this claim.)

(Update 2: And here's a report from last year of another iPod virus, albeit of a different strain.)

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