Talk about bumping a thread over a year old!
I don't even remember this thread.
This is a discussion on Virus protection? within the iPad General Discussions forums, part of the Apple iPad Discussions category; Talk about bumping a thread over a year old! I don't even remember this thread....
I am sorry, thewitt, but that statement is only half right. ALL iPads are subject to viruses.
See the link that Drag Bunt posted above (#5). Apparently, iPads are vulnerable to PDF exploits (through Safari or even iBooks). And, that’s just one little thing – I’m sure there are more.
The jailbreak the c0mex developed (and released in July 2011) was based on a PDF exploit. A PDF exploit that Apple either did not know about or did nothing about. So, thousands of iPad users were able to easily jailbreak their iPads using this exploit. It's still available today.
The most interesting aspect of this is that c0mex also developed a patch for this exploit. So, if you wished, once you jailbroke your iPad, you could install the patch and thus protect your iPad from that very same exploit. So, jailbroken iPads, for a time, were less vulnerable than stock.
As we know, Apple did come out with an update to also fix this patch (iOS version 4.3.4). But, it was after the fact of the exploit's existence was known, publicized and used. And, as far as we know, there could be more…
The point is, all iPads are vulnerable. However, while jailbroke iPads do have more “freedom,” they still share Apple’s basic premise of “sandboxing,” where Apple deliberately took the decision to isolate ('sandbox') apps to prevent a virus from infecting another app or the iPad. This isolation means an iPad is immune from computer viruses because one piece of malevolent code simply cannot affect another legimate piece of code. Yeah, some stuff can (could?) get messed up within an app - but it won't spread.
So, for now, we all are pretty safe … but, we can never let our guard down or make assumptions. Someone, somewhere, wants to cause havoc to our iPads (and thus Apple). They may get lucky someday and all we can be is viligent.
And yes, Apple is going to help us in this ... but stuff will still sneak through. It really is a matter of time, IMNSHO. No computer is safe - you can only practice safe use.
Except that the only malware reports for successful attacks on iPads have been on jail broken iPads. There were five separate attacks as I recall from the Symantec report - all on Jailbroken devices. None on the stock iPad.
Yes, all were vulnerable to the PDF exploit until it was patched, however Jailbroken iPads are the only ones open to attack by the nature of their unvetted software distribution methods...
You are not going to be infected by software downloaded from the App Store, and any holes like the PDF exploit will be few and far between - and easily patched once discovered.
Rather than recommend virus software for stock iPads, the best defense is to simply stay current on iOS updates - which will be much easier with iOS 5 and delta OTA updates.
If I were running Jailbroken iPad other than for testing software, I would be concerned. Running a stock iPad I have no concerns.