Arrests in China Over Malware Targeting Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)


Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was cited as being the target of Wirelurker, a malware that hides in app stores but targets Mac and iOS devices. The malware originated in China it and the time of discovery it had mostly affected devices in the country. Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW), a security company, raised the alarm over the issue and informed Apple. Chinese authorities have made arrests of suspects in connection with the malicious software, Apple Insider stated in an article.

The emergence of Wirelurker took many people by surprise because the malware seemed to affect devices that have not been jailbroken. The previous attacks on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) have mostly targeted jailbroken devices.

Sites brought down

A Chinese government agency in Beijing arrested three suspects behind Wirelurker. They also dismantled the sites that hosted the malware. The suspects face charges of conspiring to make illegal profits. It was not immediately established what the people behind the malware aimed to achieve. However, it was noted that the malware compromised private messages and gained illegal access to contacts.

Wirelurker performed the infection in such a way that a compromised app would be downloaded to a Mac device. The infection can then be spread to iOS devices connected through a USB to the comprised desktop hardware. The previous similar attacks on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices targeted jailbroken devices, but Wirelurker was an exception.

It was noted that it may have infected more than 350,000 devices at the point of discovery. However, it was discovered that devices whose default security was disabled.

Increasing threats

Reports about Wirelurker emerged just when Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched its mobile payment platform, Apple Pay. With Apple bringing more devices to the market, security breaches targeted its technologies also have increased. Before the dust could settle on the Wirelurker thing, malicious software known as Masque Attack emerged. Masque Attack tricked unsuspecting Apple users into surrendering confidential information.