Apple devices targeted by sophisticated hack

FireEye unmasks advanced attack targeting iOS mobile devices

Tags: Apple IncorporatedUSA
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Apple devices targeted by sophisticated hack Attackers have developed malicious versions of some of the most popular apps to execute their sinister commands
By  David Ndichu Published  August 5, 2015

FireEye has recently uncovered a highly advanced attack infrastructure that compromises non-jailbroken iOS devices with a sophisticated masque attack.

The attackers have developed malicious versions of some of the most popular apps in the world such as Skype, Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google Chrome, WeChat, Viber and Blackberry Messenger. These user-friendly, well-designed apps are used to execute commands and extract data from victims’ devices.

With the attack, an iOS app installed using enterprise/ad-hoc provisioning could replace another genuine app installed through the App Store, as long as both apps used the same bundle identifier (the unique string that identifies a particular app to the system). This in-house app may display an arbitrary title (like “New Flappy Bird”) that lures the user to install it, but the app can replace another genuine app after installation. All apps can be replaced except iOS preinstalled apps, such as Mobile Safari.

According to FireEye, the implications of this threats are that businesses are not the sole targets. Now a large segment of the general populace will find themselves at risk. The attack clearly shows an impetus towards targeting mobile devices, the security firm adds.

This particular attack raises questions about the purported safety of mobile devices in general and Apple devices in particular. No longer constrained to desktops, hackers are forcing a shift in the cybersecurity landscape, intent on exploiting any vulnerability that will give them access to mobile devices.

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