You can argue that privacy is a thing of the past; after all, isn’t all of our information in a cloud somewhere? And hackers have proven that gaining access to information isn’t all that difficult.
Just this week, Apple pulled more than 300 apps from its iTunes store following a recent security breach. Until recently, Apple was always the safest bet – prior to this, only five malicious apps have been found in the apps store. Apparently, even giants must fall at some point in the high-tech world in which we live.
The company discovered that the software in question was collecting users’ e-mail addresses and device serial numbers. All of the apps were made in China and allowed an ad company, Youmi, to display ads within the apps. If you clicked on one of the in-app ads, which, by the way, is never recommended, your information may have been stolen.
However, you didn’t necessarily have to click on an ad to be a victim of the security breach, which is why Apple has removed all of the affected apps. This is the first large-scale attack on the mobile software outlet. Apple says it is cleaning up its Apps Store to remove malicious iPhone and iPad programs.
How in the world did this happen? Apparently, hackers were able to imbed the malicious code in the apps by convincing legitimate developers to use a counterfeit version of Apple’s development software used for creating iOS and Mac apps.
A partial list of affected apps can be found at http://bgr.com/2015/09/21/app-store-hack-iphone-malware-apps-list/
Apple is working with developers to create fixes for the affected apps. In the meantime, it is recommended that you uninstall any of the apps listed and wait for the fixes before re-installing.
Director of Threat Intelligence, Ryan Olson, of Palo Alto Networks says that while there seems to have been no harm done in this hack, it proves that software developers can be hacked, which is hard to defend against.