The release of the iPhone in North America caused quite a storm, and the announcement that they are coming to Europe was met with great interest. There was also a lot of discussion about ‘iBricking’ (unlocking iPhones to allow third party apps to be written and installed).
We at SophosLabs purchased an iPhone not long after the release, so that we could understand its potential and monitor the extent of these ‘unofficial’ applications.
News today that Apple will be releasing an SDK will probably fuel speculation that malware will be written for the iPhone (an SDK is a software development kit that allows other people to write applications)
I’ll be following this story over the coming days and weeks, especially as I managed to wrestle the iPhone from the hands of the SophosLabs team in Vancouver and bring it over to the UK (there are some advantages in having ‘Director’ in your job title). But the fact is that even without an official SDK, there are already some 30-40 applications available. Everything from games to SIM unlocking tools, all freely available. Now these are ‘unofficial’ applications, and Apple have warned that anyone installing these applications risk ending up with a ‘bricked’ phone i.e. one that cannot do anything and therefore as useful as a brick.
The iPhone is a remarkable device, in true Apple style it is unique, intuitive and quite frankly a beautiful piece of technology.
But will it attract the attention of the hackers? Personally I doubt it. There will probably be a proof of concept attack at some point, but probably no real world threats. Only time will tell.