According to several reports from various sources recently, it seems there could be a nasty ‘virus’ lurking in dodgy internet adverts that wipes your iOS device when you tap on them. Users searching for jailbreak and unlock methods on their devices are the ones currently at risk.
When performing a search for these hacks on an iOS device, false adverts are returned that claim to unlock your device for free. Tapping on them takes you to a webpage that shows an animation lasting 10 to 15 seconds, followed by a message that says: “DOWNLOAD UNLOCK 2 NOW FREE.” By this point the device is completely wiped of all your information.
Though these reports are a little vague and don’t really offer any confirmation on whether or not this kind of virus is feasible, the number of reports and complaints from disgruntled users are certainly cause for concern.
Some may remember that there was also a method of jailbreaking a device through Safari, which Apple fixed in a software update shortly after it was made famous – so it’s certainly possible to perform hacks through the web browser.
Apple has done a great job of keeping its products virus free over the years, and its rare you hear about a virus that effects iOS or Mac OS X devices. However, there are always people out there who dedicate their time to breaking in for all sorts of purposes.
While some reports are advising users to steer clear of jailbreak and unlock adverts, there’s no evidence to suggest other ads aren’t effected. We’ve contacted some experts on iOS security for their comments, and we’ll publish them as soon as they’re in.