iPhone a prime target for hackers next year, say security experts

Posted by Mark Raby

Ann Arbor (MI) - Owners of Apple's iPhone should be prepared to face a "serious attack" that will strike the device in 2008, according to predictions released today by Arbor Networks.

Arbor, which focuses mainly on network security, said in its report that it expects several new vulnerabilities to pop up that will exploit the iPhone's multimedia capabilities.  

"Assaults are likely to be in the form of ...  malware embedded into seemingly harmless information, images or other media that actually perform dangerous actions when rendered on the iPhone's Web browser," it said.

The group also noted that the iPhone will continue to be an attractive target because of hackers that want "bragging rights" for being among the first to attack a new platform.

The device, which launched this summer, has already become a hotbed for illegal hacks.  Apple has released multiple firmware updates for the iPhone to increase its security footing.

Additionally, Arbor predicts that 2008 will see a great rise in the amount of cyber crimes that originate in China.  It also says botnet attacks and hacks on peer-to-peer networks will increase.

The use of such attacks is also becoming more lucrative.  Arbor said these hacks will be used as part of "ever more sophisticated ways to both steal and launder money."