iPhone users beware! Security company Kaspersky Lab expects the iPhone and iPad to be infected by malware within the next year.
While analyzing security vulnerabilities in Apple's operating system for Macs, Kaspersky also noted potential instabilities in iOS, Apple's mobile operating system.
"Our experience tells us that in the near future, perhaps in a year or so, we will see the first malware targeting iOS," Nikolai Grebennikov, Kaspersky's chief technology officer, told Computing.
As a security firm, it's in Kaspersky's interest to analyze and report on potential security threats, but to date instances of iPhone malware have been relatively rare. The few known cases have occurred within jail-broken phones. Android appears to be the platform to target; in 2011, instances of malware on the Android platform spiked 400 percent from the previous year.
Kaspersky CEO Eugene Kaspersky recently spoke out on Apple's security in the wake of the Mac Flashback trojan, the virus that infected more than 600,000 Apple computers.
Kaspersky compared Apple to Microsoft, telling Computer Business Review: "I think they are 10 years behind Microsoft in terms of security."
Kaspersky also his company has seen an increase in malware directed at Macs and recommended Apple take a more dominant security stance against potential threats. "They [Apple] will understand very soon that they have the same problems Microsoft had 10 or 12 years ago," he said, per CBR. "They will have to make changes in terms of the cycle of updates and so on and will be forced to invest more into their security audits for the software."
Kaspersky is not the only security company that has recognized the potential threat to Apple devices that run on iOS.
According to researchers at security software maker Zscaler, increased mobile traffic on Apple's devices is likely to attract more hackers. This would pose a significant threat to businesses that utilize an enterprise network. If one network user's iPhone is comprised, the entire business could be under threat of attack.
Check out the gallery below to see smart phones ranked by Bit9 as most vulnerable to malware exploits and hacking attempts in 2011.