Are There iPhone Viruses

macher

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 13, 2012
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Our son was looking at a site last night. It was one of those Chinese sites that sell knock off stuff. A page showed up saying it detected a virus and wanted you to click on a box. The page said it was a Google page.

Was wondering if it was a gimmick or not. Never heard of an iPhone virus.

Thanks!
 
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keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,536
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In a word: no.

Nothing is failsafe of course, but there hasn't been a virus on iOS that I know of, as it's quite locked down. What you experienced was just a popup.
 

Jnesbitt82

macrumors 6502
Oct 21, 2013
322
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Ohio
Yes, there can be iPhone viruses but they are not common and usually dealt with swiftly. However, with what you describe, I think what he saw was just a phishing scam attempting to get him to download a virus. In other words, it was located at the site, not on the phone itself.
 
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macher

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 13, 2012
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Yes, there can be iPhone viruses but they are not common and usually dealt with swiftly. However, with what you describe, I think what he saw was just a phishing scam attempting to get him to download a virus. In other words, it was located at the site, not on the phone itself.
Thanks I told him NOT to click.
 

JT2002TJ

macrumors 65816
Nov 7, 2013
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Well, it depends on what you call a virus. To me, a computer programmer, a virus is any code that purposely causes an unfavorable outcome. If you are on-board with that, then yes, there are websites that cause endless loops with the web browser, to where you have to clear your safari cache to get out of.

If you are talking about traditional viruses that take over your device, I believe there are, but by updating to the latest iOS version you minimize the risk to almost nothing.

The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that there are viruses, but they are well protected by governments (for example the San Bernardino cell phone) which may or may no require physically plugging into the phone. These wont become general knowledge, because much like jailbreaking, Apple will fix the exploit if they are made aware.
 

geoff5093

macrumors 68020
Sep 16, 2014
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Dover, NH
Our son was looking at a site last night. It was one of those Chinese sites that sell knock off stuff. A page showed up saying it detected a virus and wanted you to click on a box. The page said it was a Google page.

Was wondering if it was a gimmick or not. Never heard of an iPhone virus.

Thanks!
Sounds like just a pop up.
 

macher

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 13, 2012
1,629
593
Well, it depends on what you call a virus. To me, a computer programmer, a virus is any code that purposely causes an unfavorable outcome. If you are on-board with that, then yes, there are websites that cause endless loops with the web browser, to where you have to clear your safari cache to get out of.

If you are talking about traditional viruses that take over your device, I believe there are, but by updating to the latest iOS version you minimize the risk to almost nothing.

The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that there are viruses, but they are well protected by governments (for example the San Bernardino cell phone) which may or may no require physically plugging into the phone. These wont become general knowledge, because much like jailbreaking, Apple will fix the exploit if they are made aware.
I remember a while back a co worker had a similar experience. Not sure if he clicked the link or not. What happens was whenever he tried to load a page on iPhone Safari the page wouldn't load and would be telling him page can't load or something. He would have to be keep rebooting then it would work for a while then start again. I told him to restore his phone and if I remember after restoring he never had the problem.
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,300
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Our son was looking at a site last night. It was one of those Chinese sites that sell knock off stuff. A page showed up saying it detected a virus and wanted you to click on a box. The page said it was a Google page.

Was wondering if it was a gimmick or not. Never heard of an iPhone virus.

Thanks!
Install an ad blocker such as AdGuard. It was just a pop up.

The phrase nothing is perfect should answer your question
Are you implying there are virus for iOS? If so, citation?

Yes, there can be iPhone viruses but they are not common and usually dealt with swiftly.
Citation?
 
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JT2002TJ

macrumors 65816
Nov 7, 2013
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I had actually forgotten. Yes, injecting malicious code into XCode, so when app developers, it was baked into their apps.

Obviously not the case with the OP, and obviously a rare exception, but the incident had slipped my mind.
Even if you didn't remember this one, there obviously have been other issues. Apple does a good job of fixing exploits without telling us. There are no impenetrable systems, just some that are more difficult than others.

Access to the locked San Bernardino shooters phone was proof of this...
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,300
8,167
Here(-ish)
Even if you didn't remember this one, there obviously have been other issues. Apple does a good job of fixing exploits without telling us. There are no impenetrable systems, just some that are more difficult than others.

Access to the locked San Bernardino shooters phone was proof of this...
Yes, certainly; I don't disagree. However, the question at hand was whether iPhones are susceptible to viruses in the traditional sense and vulnerable to acquiring them via web browsing in Safari.

The OP certainly has limited knowledge considering he/she wondering whether a pop up on a grey market Chinese website warning of a virus on an iPhone is legit. Therefore, warning of possible Xcode and million dollar government sanctioned hacks seems a bit gratuitous.
 

JT2002TJ

macrumors 65816
Nov 7, 2013
1,064
470
Yes, certainly; I don't disagree. However, the question at hand was whether iPhones are susceptible to viruses in the traditional sense and vulnerable to acquiring them via web browsing in Safari.

The OP certainly has limited knowledge considering he/she wondering whether a pop up on a grey market Chinese website warning of a virus on an iPhone is legit. Therefore, warning of possible Xcode and million dollar government sanctioned hacks seems a bit gratuitous.
Was wondering if it was a gimmick or not. Never heard of an iPhone virus.
The bolded part, leads me to believe it is a general question, with a specific example provided.
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,532
At the iPhone hacks section.
It was just a pop up advertisement/redirect.
Nothing is unhackable but Apple's iOS is very security tight and constantly gets updated to patch any new exploits that might be available.
If you're on the latest ios you dont have much to worry about unless certain government hack groups have some unreleased vulnerabilities to try to get to your data. But those odds are high unless you're a very valuable target to be hacked into.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
Anything is possible. After all, iOS is constantly being updated with security fixes... meaning security vulnerabilities were discovered.

And there have been some publicly known attacks, mostly for jailbroken phones, but not all: https://www.theiphonewiki.com/wiki/Malware_for_iOS

Heck, most people have forgotten that the very first iPhone update ever, was rushed out because a security research group threatened to post details on a security hole if Apple didn't do an update by the end of that weekend.

However, the OP's situation was almost certainly just a popup meant to attack PCs, as others have said, but without effect on an iOS device. This is one of the reasons why I limit my wife to using her iPad for web surfing :)
 
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C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
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Our son was looking at a site last night. It was one of those Chinese sites that sell knock off stuff. A page showed up saying it detected a virus and wanted you to click on a box. The page said it was a Google page.

Was wondering if it was a gimmick or not. Never heard of an iPhone virus.

Thanks!
Some similar discussions that might be of some help:

https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...can-i-plug-my-phone-into-my-computer.1960611/

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/could-my-iphone-be-infected.2031425/
 

mikezmac

macrumors 6502a
Jun 4, 2014
670
262
NH
Our son was looking at a site last night. It was one of those Chinese sites that sell knock off stuff. A page showed up saying it detected a virus and wanted you to click on a box. The page said it was a Google page.

Was wondering if it was a gimmick or not. Never heard of an iPhone virus.

Thanks!
I've had iPhones since day one and never had a virus. It's not impossible but it's extremely unlikely. You have to go to a Chinese knock off Page to get one. JK
 

Suckfest 9001

macrumors 65816
May 31, 2015
1,235
1,821
Canada
These web popups are not viruses - they're just spammy popups that try to trick you into thinking something's wrong with your phone.

You really don't need to worry about malware and viruses with iPhone. iOS is not that secure, as evidenced by the long list of jailbreak exploits we've seen over the past decade, but it's a hell of a lot better than anything out there by a long shot.
 
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