Web code locks up iPhones and iPod Touch

Malicious code on a Web site could freeze iPhones and iPod Touch devices as well as crash Safari on desktops.

Robert Vamosi
Robert Vamosi Former Editor
As CNET's former resident security expert, Robert Vamosi has been interviewed on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets to share his knowledge about the latest online threats and to offer advice on personal and corporate security.

A new exploit will either lock up your iPhone or iPod Touch or crash your Safari browser on your PC or Mac OS desktop if you simply visit a maliciously coded Web site. Unlike an earlier exploit that required users to click to become infected, the new code published by iPhoneWorld requires no user interaction.

So far, Apple has had no comment.

The code was first reported in January and exhausts the memory in Safari, which in turn will cause your iPhone or iPod Touch to freeze, or your desktop Safari to crash. "Given the nature of this issue," said the BugTraq newsgroup vulnerability report, "remote code execution may also be possible, but this has not been confirmed."

There is no patch available from Apple. The recommended workaround is to disable Javascript within Safari. To do so:

    1. Under Edit, click Preferences.
    2. Click the Security icon.
    3. Uncheck Enable JavaScript.
    4. Close and restart Safari.