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Apple-oriented malware found in wild

Wirelurker sticks to contacts, messaging IDs, but Palo Alto warns of dangerous potential

Security threats, Apple Incorporated

A family of malicious software designed specifically to attack Apple hardware has been discovered by a Palo Alto Networks research team, Reuters reported.

The Wirelurker malware affects Mac OS and iOS devices and can pass from desktops to tablets and smartphones through USB connections to install third-party code.

Ryan Olson, intelligence director, Unit 42, Palo Alto Networks, said that data compromised so far was limited to address book contacts and messaging IDs.

But "they could just as easily take your Apple ID or do something else that's bad news," he added.

The precise identity and motives of Wirelurker's creators is unknown, but Palo Alto said the infection started in a third-party Chinese apps store, where more than 400 infected apps were downloaded over 350,000 times onto Mac computers, mostly in China.