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Rotten Apple: iOS App Store Hit By Malware

Rotten Apple: iOS App Store Hit By Malware


Apple is involved in a massive clean-up of its iOS App Store to remove malicious software which has infected numerous iPhone and iPad programmes, according to reports.

The malware, dubbed XcodeGhost, was discovered by several cyber security companies which found it embedded in hundreds of legitimate apps, the Reuters news agency said.

Cyber security firm Palo Alto Networks said the malware can prompt fake phishing dialogs to steal login details, open websites, and read and write data on your clipboard.

The firm said the malware is “very harmful and dangerous”.


It is is the first sustained security breach of the App Store that Apple has acknowledged.

Before this attack, just five malicious apps had ever been found in the store – which is tightly controlled and sees every app vetted by Apple employees.

The hackers embedded the malicious code in the apps by convincing developers of legitimate software to use a tainted, counterfeit version of Apple’s software for creating iOS and Mac apps, which is known as Xcode, Apple said.

“We’ve removed the apps from the App Store that we know have been created with this counterfeit software,” an Apple spokeswoman said in an email to Reuters.

“We are working with the developers to make sure they’re using the proper version of Xcode to rebuild their apps.”

Most of the apps affected are aimed at the Chinese market, and the most prominent is WhatsApp competitor WeChat.

One Chinese security firm says that as many as 350 app may be affected.