Is Apple Safe Anymore? WireLurker Affects iPhone Users!

iPhone users are mostly considered immune to malware and viruses. There are risks involved when you jailbreak your phone, but thanks to the tight controls of the App Store, finding iOS malware is almost impossible. So, if you didn’t jailbreak your phone you simply don’t have to worry about any virus. Until now!

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Security researchers at Palto Alto Networks have found a new family of malware called Wirelurker. It is called Wire Lurker because of its ability to sense when you connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer running OS X. The malware is speeding through the Maiyadi App Store which is a third party source for OS X software in China. The malware infects the Apple OS X operating system and then downloads applications to iPhones that connect through USB. After sneaking into your phones, it then gathers basic user and device information, Apple ID’s, contact information and the recipients of iMessages.  WireLurker has infected 467 OS X third party applications, which have been downloaded more than 350,000 times. It has affected hundreds of thousand users in its past six months of frenzy.

It is a first such virus which can also infect non-jailbroken phones using the least examined Enterprise Provisioning System. The system was intended to allow large companies to skip the app store approval process and deploy their software quickly. After getting access to a non-jailbroken iPhone, the program side-loads a comic book app onto the phone which includes of a forged enterprise provisioning certificate to collect data. For jailbroken phones, the malware rewrites the apps so as to harvest payment information.

This a second major blow to Apple. First being private photographs of celebrities being hacked from their iCloud accounts. In order to be safe beforehand, here are few things which you should consider:

  • Refrain from jailbreaking your phone.
  • Do not download applications or games from third party app stores. Downloading third party softwares and applications are more likely to carry malicious components.
  • Install a trusted antivirus software for your Mac.
  • Do not ignore the security updates for your devices and apps. Install those updates to keep your device up-to-date in the battle against malware and viruses.
  •  USB transfers data and even if you’re just looking for power, do not connect into any random USB port for the sake of charging. Only connect to trusted devices.
  • Enable two-step verification process for your Apple ID.

According to recent news, An apple spokesperson was startled the way WireLurker made its way into the system. However, he further assured that Apple has managed to wipe it out from its store and has advised its users to be more cautious.