The iPad runs the same operating system as the iPhone, which currently only “jailbroken” iPhones have been subjected to malware exploitation. Intego even acknowledges that there is currently no threat to defend against.
“We’re not saying there is malware in the wild,” Peter James, an Intego spokesman said. “But there are exploits that can take advantage of vulnerabilities.”
It is currently unclear if the malware that infected jailbroken iPhones can also hit iPads.
“Jailbreaking takes advantages of vulnerabilities,” James told The Register. “Those users who don’t jailbreak their devices have fewer security risks because they are protected by sandboxing. Jailbroken devices are not protected in same way. If and when iPad malware arrives we have the engine ready”.
Developing security prior to the appearance of a threat is certainly a novel approach. The anti-virus scanner actually operates on a Mac computer. When an iPad or iPhone is plugged in, the scanner then trawls the device for possible malware.
“The software doesn’t run on an iPad or iPhone itself. We’re looking forward to multi-tasking that will make this possible and in the mean time offering the best we can,” James said. “We can’t detect things live but its the best compromise we can offer for now.”