Apple has a reputation for being impervious to malware–the bad software that often infects and compromises PCs. But as Apple has grown, it’s become more of a target. Security software makers Palo Alto Networks have discovered a new problem for Apple called WireLurker which aims to install destructive third-party apps on iPhones and iPads. The main targets so far are Apple devices in China.
Palo Alto Networks says WireLurker represents a “new era” in Mac OS and iOS malware that already “may have impacted hundreds of thousands of users.” In a connected world that means trouble. WireLurker is the biggest Apple-directed malware family the security firm has yet seen. “It is the first known malware that can infect installed iOS applications similar to a traditional virus,” Palo Alto reports. WireLurker has infected OS X Macs through any of 467 OS X applications it compromised at the Maiyadi App Store in China. From the desktop Macs the malware spreads to devices through USB connections. Two keys to preventing infection are to avoid powering your iOS device through chargers from unknown sources and avoid connecting iOS devices to unknown Macs or PCs.
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