Thursday, January 10, 2008

iPhone News 11/10/07

Microsoft to Concentrate on Windows Mobile; Won’t Launch iPhone Competitor


Software giant, Microsoft Corp., is not planning to launch a device to compete with Apple’s iPhone, according to the company’s Chairman and co-founder, Bill Gates.

“No, we won’t do that,” Gates said in an interview with Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung yesterday. “In the so-called smart phone business we will concentrate solely on software with our Windows Mobile Program.”

“We have partnerships with a lot of device manufacturers from Samsung to Motorola and this variety brings us significantly more than if we would make our own mobile phone,” Gates explained.

Apple, which is one of Microsoft’s main competitors in the computer software market, launched its long-anticipated iPhone handset in the U.S. last June. The high-end music- and web-enabled cell phone was a big hit in America and parts of Europe this holiday shopping season.

Pre-teen creates iPhone malware

IPhone hacking is child's play

Shaun Nichols in California, 10 Jan 2008

A precocious pre-teen has prompted security warnings after creating a piece of malware for Apple's iPhone.

The 11 year-old hacker created a malicious file for the iPhone that masquerades as a legitimate piece of third-party software.

The file presents itself as 'firmware 1.1.3 prep', a utility said to prepare the handset for an upcoming software update.

Malicious activity does not occur when the software is installed; the damage is done when the user attempts to remove the malware. On deletion, the 'prep' file also removes a number of other legitimate files from the iPhone.

Security firm F-Secure credits the administrators of iPhone download site Modmyifone with publicising the attack and tracking down the author.

The administrators of Modmyifone claim that they have contacted the author's parents, and that the site hosting the malicious code has been taken down.

Since the first third-party iPhone applications were released last summer, their regulation has rested largely on the shoulders of the user community.

Apple has washed its hands of the unofficial software, saying that, while it would not take special steps to remove any iPhone hacks, it would not support or take responsibility for damage caused by third-party software.

Although this latest attack has been taken down, security firms are warning iPhone users to be very careful when installing third-party software on the mobile device.

McAfee recommends that iPhone users install only official firmware updates, and the US Computer Emergency Response Team advises users to download files only from trusted websites.

"Hopefully this serves as a warning for those who have opened their iPhones using a security hole in the system and installed unverified software without a second thought," wrote F-Secure chief research officer Mikko Hyppönen.

"This time it was an 11 year-old playing with XML files who created the Trojan. Next time it might be someone with more skills and specific targets."

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