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iPad owners targeted to spread malware

The spam message only affects the Windows computers. The users who are using the Mac OS X will not be affected, in case they download the “piece of malware.”

Apple Inc’s success with its latest tablet computer may cost its customers dearly, as iPad’s strong sales are encouraging hackers to exploit the vulnerability in the device to spread virus.

Warning the iPad users of the malicious hackers, security firm BitDefender said that many iPad owners have received emails, asking the users to update the software installed on their tablet computer.

However, BitDefender has confirmed that the message is a spam e-mail, which is aimed at distributing malware.

Spam e-mail message
The mail reads, “There were released updates for software installed on your iPad device. It is very important to keep the software on your iPad updated for best performance, newer features and security. All you need is a computer with the latest version of iTunes and internet connection for updating your iPad software.”

For the iPad owners, who do not have the latest version of the iTunes, the message also provides a link to facilitate users to install the application.

On clicking the link, the users are directed to a page that is a replica of the one that they would have used to download legitimate iTunes software.

The malware code has been identified as ‘Backdoor.Bifrose.AADY.’ The code, which gets stored in the explorer.exe process, gives access to the cyber criminals to control the affected system.

“Unfortunately for these users, following the malicious link means opening up a direct line to their sensitive data as instead of the promised iTunes update they get malware on their systems,” wrote BitDefender’s Security Researcher Sabina Datcu in a blog post.

Ensuring protection
The malware code has been identified as ‘Backdoor.Bifrose.AADY.’

The code, which gets stored in the explorer.exe process, gives access to the cyber criminals to control the affected system, added Datcu.

The spam message only affects the Windows computers. The users who are using the Mac OS X will not be affected, in case they download the “piece of malware.”

The iPad owners can protect their systems from malware by ensuring the following:

• Never download or save a file from the source one is not aware of

• To download software, always visit the official website, www.apple.com

• Further, ensure that the system has antimalware, firewall solution and spam filter installed to check such spam email messages

• Also, before opening any file, one should always run anti-malware scan