According to Apple, malicious hackers have found a way to infect the App store with malicious code that could impact iPhones and iPads.
A tool used by software developers was obtained by a group of unknown hackers. The deviant hackers were able to copy the code and insert their own code into the software, which could then infect iPads and iPhones, according to the New York Times. In all, 40 apps are known to have been infected as of Sunday night’s announcement by Apple. Christine Monaghan, an Apple spokeswoman, shared that the infected apps have been removed from the App store.
“To protect our customers, we’ve removed the apps from the App Store that we know have been created with this counterfeit software.”
Although the infected apps were removed, Apple warns that anyone who downloaded the apps may still be infected by the malicious malware. At this time, the damage to users is unknown. Apple warns anyone who believes their iPhone or iPad was infected should download the latest version of their apps to ensure no further harm is done, according to the Star.
The malicious code uploaded by the hackers is known to upload information from the infected devices and send it to servers outside of the Apple network. Warning signs of infection may be prompts for passwords, especially for iCloud, that do not normally appear.
Apple insists that the malicious code did not originate from their servers. Instead, it claims the infected software was most likely downloaded from alternate sources.
“Sometimes network speeds are very slow when downloading large files from Apple’s servers. some Chinese developers choose to download the package from other sources or get copies from colleagues.”
Most of the infected apps are available only in China, such as Didi Kuaidi, a taxi hailing app. However, other apps were specific to Chinese banks.
Tencent, developer of WeChat, stated that their users’ personal information is safe, according to preliminary findings, but they will continue to monitor the situation.
“A preliminary investigation into the flaw has revealed that there has been no theft and leakage of users’ information or money, but the WeChat team will continue to closely monitor the situation.”
Many users believe Apple to be immune to viruses, malicious software, and hackers. Although Apple has been successful at warding off major attacks, intrusion from unknown sources is not completely out of the question.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News]