Kaspersky Lab reports first iPod virus, sort of

Tech Culture

Kaspersky Lab on Thursday said it has discovered the first virus designed to infect iPods. At the same time, the Russian antivirus company said that the virus, dubbed Podloso, does not pose a real threat.

Kaspersky states that the virus will only work if Linux has been installed on an iPod. Also, the user has to load the virus onto the iPod, Kaspersky said. "Podloso cannot be launched automatically without user involvement," the company said.

Once launched, Podloso will scan the iPod's hard disk and infect all executable files. Any attempt to launch these files will cause the virus to display: "You are infected with Oslo the first iPodLinux Virus," Kaspersky said.

That's an interesting way of calling something an iPod virus, similar to calling something a virus for Mac OS X if it only works when also running Windows on the Apple hardware.

"Podloso is a typical proof of concept virus," Kaspersky said. "Such viruses are created to demonstrate that it is possible to infect a specific platform...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."

By the way, iPods have carried a virus before. Apple shipped some of the gadgets with a Windows virus called RavMonE. It didn't infect the iPod, but could affect Windows PCs when connected to the device.

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