Apple’s App Store Infected with XcodeGhost Malware in China

Posted by at 12:33 pm on September 21, 2015

AppleLogo_xcode has said it is taking steps to remove malicious code added to a number of apps commonly used on iPhones and iPads in China.It is thought to be the first large-scale attack on Apple’s App Store.┬áThe hackers created a counterfeit version of Apple’s software for building iOS apps, which they persuaded developers to download. Apps compiled using the tool allow the attackers to steal data about users and send it to servers they control.

Cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks – which has analysed the malware dubbed XcodeGhost – said the perpetrators would also be able to send fake alerts to infected devices to trick their owners into revealing information. It added they could also read and alter information in compromised devices’ clipboards, which would potentially allow them to see logins copied to and from password management tools.

WeChat is one of China’s most popular chat apps, and is also used outside the country to a lesser extent. Infected applications includes Tencent’s hugely popular WeChat app, NetEase’s music downloading app and Didi Kuaidi’s Uber-like car hailing app.Some of the affected apps – including the business card scanner CamCard – are also available outside China.

“We’ve removed the apps from the App Store that we know have been created with this counterfeit software,” said Apple spokeswoman Christine Monaghan.
“We are working with the developers to make sure they’re using the proper version of Xcode to rebuild their apps,” said Christine Monaghan.

On its official WeChat blog, Tencent said the security issue affected an older version of its app – WeChat 6.2.5 – and that newer versions were not affected.It added that an initial investigation showed that no data theft or leakage of user information had occurred.

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