SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Software security firm BitDefender warned Tuesday that hackers are trying to trick iPad owners into infecting personal computers with a power-seizing virus.
Hackers are sending out email messages that falsely offers a software update for Apple's freshly launched tablet computers, according to BitDefender.
The messages steer iPad owners to a realistic looking website that supposedly provides the latest version if iTunes online shop but instead installs malicious code on visitors' machines.
"With more than 600,000 iPads sold since its introduction, it's clear as why malware creators have been interested in crashing this promising party," the Romania-based firm said in an online post.
Once installed, the malicious software gives hackers a "backdoor" into computers and lets them control the machines, according to BitDefender.
It is standard procedure for cyber criminals to take advantage of hot topics and major news to trick their way past peoples' defenses and into their computers using booby-trapped websites or email messages.
The Wi-Fi-only model of the iPad from the maker of the Macintosh computer, the iPod and the iPhone went on sale in the United States on April 3 and the company sold more than 500,000 units the first week.
An iPad model featuring 3G cellular connectivity is planned to hit stores in the United States on April 30.
The Cupertino, California-based company announced recently that heavy US demand had forced it to delay the international release of the iPad by a month, until late May.