Apple says it will fix a security flaw in iPhones and iPads that could allow viruses to be installed on the devices.
Germany’s IT security agency warned that Apple’s iOS - the operating system that runs the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch - has a ‘critical weakness’ that would allow hackers to run malicious code.
The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) said that opening an infected PDF on an iOS device could allow malicious programs to run on the device.
An Apple spokesperson said: "Apple takes security very seriously, we're aware of this reported issue and developing a fix that will be available to customers in an upcoming software update."
The BSI said that no attacks had yet been detected but warned: “Possible attack scenarios for cyber-criminals include the reading of confidential information (passwords, online banking data, calendars, e-mail content, text or contact information), access to built-in cameras, the interception of telephone conversations and the GPS localization of the user.”
In a statement on its website (in German), the BSI warns against opening PDFs from unknown sources until Apple patches the flaw. It said any device running iOS version 4.3.3 - the latest version - would be affected.
Apple’s next scheduled software update is iOS 5, which will arrive in September. However, if Apple feels the problem is serious enough it might well release a security update sooner.