Blog Post

Intego Removes Penultimate Hurdle to Corporate iPhone Adoption (Plus: TAB Contest!)

Despite Apple’s enterprise nod with the iPhone OS 2.0 feature set there are two fairly glaring omissions that make it difficult to use the iPhone in a corporate setting: the lack of encryption of the file system as a whole (or even just the message store) and the lack of available on-board virus scanners for the device (despite promises from prominent vendors). Without the former, it is nigh impossible to store client or customer data on the device, unless you are comfortable with the risk of financial penalties and reputation loss in the event you lose your iPhone. The latter is not as gnarly, but would require a policy exception at most mid-to-large companies and may prevent the device from being on the preferred list.

Intego has come up with a creative solution to one of those two remaining problems with VirusBarrier X5 10.5.3, their award winning virus scanner for OS X 10.4 & 10.5. Virus barrier has all of the traditional, crunchy goodness of system virus scanners, including real-time/on-demand scanning, heuristic/behavioral analysis, quarantine & trusted zones, event-based & scriptable scanning and the ability to detect & eliminate Windows viruses (very handy for BootCamp users). VirusBarrier can also integrate with your e-mail workflow and scan mail before you send and/or as you receive messages. The product developers realized just how vulnerable users of the iPhone are and came up with a creative way for their product to protect these new mobile devices as well.

iPhone Scanning

NOTE: You can give this a try yourself via Intego’s free demo

After installing VirusBarrier X5, you can select a connected iPhone via the scan target chooser:

The scanner will connect to your phone and begin copying files to your local system (where the software can scan them):

A significant caveat is that your phone will reboot during this process, so pick a time when you can be incommunicato. The scanner worked quickly during my test, so this should not be a real problem.

I asked the Intego developers what prompted them to add the iPhone to the feature set of VirusBarrier and they said that with the new ability to install applications (that can then create or obtain files) the device is now open to attack and that “ddditionally, users ‘jailbreaking’ (unlocking) an iPhone can install even more applications, increasing this risk of malware and infected files.”

The developers also pointed out that “there are a number of known vulnerabilities for the iPhone,
which leave the device open to remote attack. We [Intego] do not publish a list of such vulnerabilities, but you can find some of them listed here.”

The Future Of Onboard Scanning

The iPhone SDK does not allow applications to be written that operate as background tasks nor does it allow access to protected areas of the filesystem. Applications can access the Documents folders of each other, and this means that the future of onboard virus scanning may be relegated to on-demand-only scheduling of third-party application areas. If Apple is serious about gaining a foothold in the enterprise, they should work closely with developers like Intego to find a way to provide a more robust interface for these types of services.

Win A Chance To Be Secure!

Intego has provided TAB with 20 copies of VirusBarrier X5 and 20 copies of Personal Backup X5 to give away to our readers. Just post a comment (with your real e-mail address) by midnight (PST) Wednesday (August 27) indicating which one you’d like (one comment per-person, per-product) and we’ll do a random drawing and announce the winners Thursday.

Also, if you are a VirusBarrier user, drop us a note in the comments with your experiences.

40 Responses to “Intego Removes Penultimate Hurdle to Corporate iPhone Adoption (Plus: TAB Contest!)”

  1. zahadum

    Sure I too would like a copy of the intego thingy, so I can check out their support for the iphone.

    But in terms if fud, I am still waiting for intego (or anyone else) to actually demonstrate the need for a virus tool for osx since there have never been any real virus running in the wild!

  2. Great timing. Just today I was asked by management to perform an evaluation of the available antivirus applications for Mac OS X. Intego’s VirusBarrier came up a couple of times with very positive recommendations. Apparently a number of Techs use at home. Comments regarding Symantec AntiVirus CE were unanimous – getting a virus would be better than installing this. McAfee Virex fell in between somewhere. My favorite, due to it being the least intrusive and not failing on the majority of scans, is ClamXav, but it does not offer a repair option.

    As far as the “lottery” goes a copy of VirusBarrier X5 would be my choice.

  3. Perfect timing as my job became very nervous to find that my Mac on the (predominately Windows based) network does not have Virus Scan software installed.

    This would be a great asset and get me out of hot water. :)

    VirusBarrier X5 please.


  4. Even though most people believe there are no viruses for OS X they would be mistaking. Also because you may not show signs or the effects of a virus does not mean you can not be a carrier for the virus. which means you could be passing a virus around to your friends. I have seen more then once a mac user passing a virus on to a WINTEL machine.
    While the Mac never showed any side effects from hosting a virus the machines it passed it along to suffered and so did friendships. I would love a copy VirusBarrier X5! One more note as more and more people switch to the Mac and use iPhones the more chances people will start writing virus for them. While Mac viruses are low now you can count on them to climb dramatically over the next year or two, especially if Apples growth continues as it has been doing.

  5. Michael


    “Applications can access the Documents folders of each other”

    This is wrong. There was/is a loop hole in the current release version of the iPhone Firmware but that will be plugged in the next version. All Applications operate in a closed environment from each other.

  6. Michael

    Ok, forgive me if Im being ignorant but as far as I know, there are no known viruses for OS X. So how can you have a product that protects you from something that does not exist (at least not yet).