RAT Malware On iPhone – It Is Possible – How to Detect and Remove RAT Malware On iPhone
Can RAT Malware infect an iPhone?
iPhones and other iOS devices are vulnerable to RAT Malware and other malware, contrary to what Apple customers may think. iPhones, iPads, Mac Books, and iPod touches have all been the target of successful malware and spyware campaigns. Like other internet connected devices, Jailbroken and out-of-date hardware and software increases the chances of a device becoming infected.
It is possible for iPhones to get malware. However, if you never install games or other apps outside of the Apple store, update your operating system and all apps promptly, and do not jailbreak your iPhone, then the risk of malware is lower than it is for Android devices.
iMessage was at the target of a cyber attack that resulted in bricked iPhones. Receiving the cyber attack through iMessage caused the target iPhone to crash and the iPhone stopped responding to input from the user. The malware survived a hard reset and causes the iPhone to be unusable.
Did You Receive RAT Malware Email on Your iPhone?
iPhone users and Mac users are not as vulnerable to RAT Malware as Android users are, it is still possible to infect an iPhone with malware. RAT Malware campaigns tend to target victims with emails scaring them into paying a ransom.
What do Common RAT Malware Emails Say?
- Someone else logged in – You nay have received a legitimate looking email warning you that someone supposedly logged into your Apple account, iCloud, or iOS device
- Rat Malware Email with Password
- I infected you with my private malware (RAT) – Is another RAT email scam email that is probably not true
- Apple Care Scare – iOS users receive a legitimate looking email that notifies them their Apple ID is set to expire. The victim is prompted to confirm their Apple ID which is really an attempt to capture your login credentials
- Fake App Purchases – Emailed Apple Store app purchases scare iPhone users into thinking someone stole money to buy apps
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The hacker may be attempting to scare the victim into sending a ransom payable in Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. RAT Malware email campaigns may threaten to spam all your contacts from the infected device with an embarrassing message.
It’s not just hackers that have successfully infiltrated iPhones with malware. WikiLeaks exposed information about leaked information on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and naming the information Vault 7. The CIA arsenal of hacking tools included malware that infected, controlled and extracted data from iPhones and other iOS devices.
iPhone Malware Names
The iPhone Wiki lists a history of iPhone malware hacking from various hackers.
- Duh – Uses infected iPhones as part of a botnet
- FindCall aka Find and Call -Trojan Malware for iPhone
- Packages by Nobitazzz – Adware for iPad and other iOS devices
- AdThief aka Spad – Malware targeting jailbroken iOS devices that steals money
- Unflod – Accodring to PaoAlto, AppBuyer targets jailbroken iOS devices and attempts to capture the user’s Apple ID and password
- AppBuyer – Targets jailbroken iOS devices and attempts to capture the user’s Apple ID and password
- AceDeceiver – Malware targeting non-jailbroken iOS devices
- eSurv – Spyware targeting all iOS devices
- Monokle – Russian spyware for IOS and Android devices tries to capture Apple’s HealthKit and iCloud login details
- Pegasus (August 2016) – Pegasus is spyware for iOS built by NSO Group and sold to governments
- WireLurker and Masque Attack – targeting both Mac OS and iOS systems
iPhone – What is Jailbreaking?
Jailbreaking is the process of getting into a device’s filesystem to bypass security measures. This process is also called rooting. Users jailbreak iPhones to obtain administrator privileges and remove all Apple restrictions on what can be installed or removed, install any app from any source, and tweak iOS.
Jailbreaking also significantly increases the risk of your iPhone getting a virus. Many malwares only work on Jailbroken phones.
iOS users can jailbreak iOS devices with publicly available apps like unc0ver and Electra.
Jailbreaking voids your Apple warranty and Apple Care service.
If you’re an Apple Care or Apple Care Plus customer, your iPhone warranty is extended, so it’s always worth checking in at the Genius Bar.
How to Prevent RAT Malware- iPhone
- Do not open emails from unknown senders. Scrutinize every email you receive to make sure the sender is who they claim they are. Never trust the friendly name of an email sender
- READ our post about detecting phishing scams – click here
- Do not open email attachments or download anything from unknown senders
- Be careful even if the email appears to be from someone you know
- Do not open unsolicited email attachments
- If a website warns you that your software or app is out of date, do not download an update
- Only accept updates from the official Apple store
- Keep all hardware, devices, software, and apps up to date. Allow automatic updates so you never miss one
- Use good anti-virus software to protect your devices
- Use a VPN to connect to the internet, especially when you are not on your home or other trusted network
- Keep your iPhone and all apps up to date – Enable automatic updates
How to Turn on Automatic Updates – iPhone
- Log into your iPhone
- Open the Settings app
- Go to iTunes & App Stores
- At the top in the Automatic Updates section
- Slide App Updates to On
- Toggle the automatic updates button to on
RAT Malware iPhone – What to Do
iPhone and Mac users are not immune from viruses and malware. Scan your MacBook Pro, iMac Pro, MacBook Air, iMac for viruses, malware, spyware, adware and other apps that may have been installed.
- Don’t pay ransom to the hackers – Many RAT Malware emails are simply empty threats
- Scan for malware using an antivirus app that works specifically for malware
- Change Passwords – Many people use the same password across multiple accounts
- Use biometric logins – Fingerprints and FaceID work best
- Report any iPhone malware to the FTC
How to Remove RAT Malware from iPhone
Try using a malware scanner that is specifically for malware detection and removal. Although there are free apps out there, a subscription app with up to date libraries will most likely work best.
You may have to reset your iPhone to start over with factory settings.
To reset your iPhone from an iCloud backup:
- Open the Settings app
- Tap General
- Tap Reset at the bottom of the menu
- Tap Erase all Content and Settings
- Power off the phone and restart it
After that is complete, you can restore your iPhone from an iCloud backup. Choose a backup that was made before your iPhone was compromised with malware.
Michelle writes about cyber security as well as how to protect data online. She has worked in internet technology for over 20 years Michelle earned a B.S. in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Michelle published a guide to Cyber Security for Business Travelers