Apple Develops Solution for IPhone Security Weakness

Apple Inc. said it has developed a solution for a security flaw that might allow unauthorized users to install malicious applications onto iPhones and steal personal information.

The remedy “will be available to customers in an upcoming software update,” said Natalie Harrison, a spokeswoman for Apple.

Intrusion is possible because of weaknesses in how certain files, specifically PDF documents, are presented on the iPhone, security software maker Symantec Corp. said. The flaw might allow attackers to read passwords and e-mails and eavesdrop on calls, Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security said.

The weakness, which can let iPhone owners unlock the operating system and install applications not offered by Apple’s iTunes store, might allow an unauthorized user to take full control of the device and add malicious software, Mountain View, California-based Symantec said. The iPhone was previously criticized for a design flaw in the antenna that Consumer Reports said can lead to diminished network reception.

The vulnerability also affects the iPad and the iPod touch, Symantec said.

Owners of the iPhone and other smart phones can unlock the devices, a practice known as “jailbreaking,” without breaking copright laws in order to use applications not authorized by the company, the U.S. Library of Congress said in July.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, fell $1.28 to $261.70 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have gained 24 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Arik Hesseldahl in New York at ahesseldahl@bloomberg.net

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