Over the years Apple products have become increasingly vulnerable to viruses/malware and scenarios of infection have become more frequent. Apple has recently been gaining a lot of media coverage in regards to losing its polished reputation in the technology industry, due to software issues.
So what exactly does all of this mean for Apple? Is Apples era of NO INFECTION over?
The answer is yes… and this is just the beginning.
Palo Alto Networks recently discovered malware called “Wirelurker” which is targeting both MAC OSX and iOS systems. Wirelurker first attacks Apple desktops then delivers the malware to iPhones and iPads (this attack is done with no resistance since it is a trusted source). This is a new way criminals are able to crack security on iPhones and iPads and get access to confidential information stored in our devices. This is a major issue since nowadays we use our cell phones for almost everything (i.e.: online banking, address book, emails, IMS, etc).
Wirelurker behavior was first detected by users who downloaded applications from a third party OS X and iOS application store in China called, Maiyadi App Store. The Paloalto networks investigation found that almost all the applications on the site (totaling 467) were trojanized with Wirelurker. (If you have ever downloaded an application from the Maiyadi App Store then it is highly likely that your devices have been compromised). Once Wirelurker is installed on your Mac desktop it monitors any iOS device connected through USB by either downloading a third party application or automatically installing malicious programs onto the device regardless of whether it is jail broken. Once the device is infected Wirelurker can steal confidential information and send it back to its creator.
Apple has recently stated that they have snuffed out threats made by Wirelurker:
We are aware of malicious software available from a download site aimed at users in China, and we’ve blocked the identified apps to prevent them from launching. As always, we recommend that users download and install software from trusted sources.
Although, Apple is doing what it can to make their apps infection free, there are no guarantees for users who are not protecting themselves. So after all these years of using computers and smart phone we naturally know the drill:
- Always get the latest OS X and iOS updates
- Deploy an Antivirus and malware protection on your devices
- Download your apps only from App store
- Do not pair or connect any of your iOS devices with untrusted or unknown computers or unknown devices
- Avoid powering your iOS devices through charges from unknown computers or unknown devices
This is definitely the beginning of a new era, where more and more breaches of Apple products are being discovered. Be prepared to protect your devices as Wirelurker is coming with new variants and surely other virus names.