iOS

iOS is no longer safe from malware

iOS is no longer safe from malware
It seems like every few months there will be a new story that pops up in order to generate worry about malware on Android, despite the fact that if you use the Google Play Store, and don't sideload apps, you're probably quite safe. Now, it's Apple's turn, because iOS finally has malware of its own... for those who use 3rd party app stores in China.

The malware is called WireLurker, and it is quite impressive, if only for the fact that it is the first known malware that can infect an iOS device that hasn't been jailbroken. Early reports say that there could be hundreds of thousands of infected devices. The bug is transmitted over USB, which is why it has mostly been spread through the Maiyadi App Store in China which loads apps onto an iOS device via Mac OS. WireLurker is pretty dangerous too, because it will apps already on a device through binary file replacement and turn other programs into malware as well, without the need to download anything extra. 

Researchers are saying that infected apps have been downloaded over 350,000 times. Researchers at Palo Alto Networks have put together software to help users detect if they are infected, but it is fairly easy to avoid (as are almost all mobile malware examples right now). Basically, don't use 3rd party app stores; don't use USB chargers from unknown sources; and, avoid using enterprise provisioning permissions to install unapproved software. 

Do that, and you should be just fine. 

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50 Comments

1. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Ah, the dangers of unprotected sex with strange USB ports. Fortunately, you can buy a condom: http://syncstop.com/

8. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Or, one can abstain from 'risky behavior' (aka don't download applications from non-curated sources).

2. AnTuTu

Posts: 1620; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

And I always knew it.

13. Sauce2

Posts: 199; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Just like Google Play third party apps and app stores. Tsk Tsk China.

27. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

I think Michael here underestimates just how much Apple loves to put up pie charts showing how Android is a toxic hellstew of malware. They will be all over this as soon possible. Also I think we are ignoring how Play services cripples old devices especially those running 4.0 and older, this leads to people downloading hacks of the original Play services without regard of what malware does to their devices. It's happening. Again Wirelurker's intentions aren't exactly clear but we won't need to know about any of that once this gets fixed. In the mean time, let's funnel all the traffic we can get for reporting this.

32. LiquidGalaxy

Posts: 332; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

And the 'trolling' award goes to...

39. Sir-Lancelot

Posts: 98; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

Darkkjedii Lol

3. Akkilidor

Posts: 14; Member since: Oct 14, 2014

problems.. hardware (check) software (check) ... apple is so going down...

5. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Apple using TLC flash for the iPhone 6/6+ is really the big problem. This is just pissing on their customers, using bargain basement flash memory -- it is the absolute crappiest form of flash memory available.

19. Iodine

Posts: 1495; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

And what would you do, if you wanted to cram 128GB of flash into an ultra compact phone ?

21. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

"And what would you do, if you wanted to cram 128GB of flash into an ultra compact phone ?" Well, I would pay more for Samsung's MLC V-Nand or any other higher density package that is not TLC. The reason there is TLC in the phone is because Apple is f**king greedy and doesn't really give a crap about the customer, not because TLC is the only solution.

35. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

To be fair the TLC flash memory that Apple used can be two times faster than the solution used in other phones in certain tasks, Anandtech tested it and the results were good, but since we are talking about memory reliability>speed.

12. meanestgenius

Posts: 22282; Member since: May 28, 2014

Apple's hardware/software is pure crap. Always has been.

31. LiquidGalaxy

Posts: 332; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Lol - grow up dude. Apple haters have been saying this for how long now? Unless of course you're being sarcastic in which case i apologise..

4. wilsong17 unregistered

It was never safe. .. just like I told you.. just wait until the phone sell well in China and you are going to see the hacker damage

14. Sauce2

Posts: 199; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Now Android and iOS can have something in common :)

6. Anshulonweb

Posts: 468; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

well , i am not surprised...

7. DnB925Art

Posts: 1168; Member since: May 23, 2013

So all the Apple fans who said Android is full of malware can now eat crow. Any platform can get infected, especially a very popular platform like iOS.

9. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

The more the platform is popular, the more it becomes a target for hackers/malware. The MS Windows community will certainly confirm this circumstance.

17. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

Even after its not open source like Android and closed system in which you can't even delete files transferred from iTunes, having malware is pathetic. Google makes much better OS which aren't there to rip its customers as well.

20. Iodine

Posts: 1495; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Yeah any platform can get infected, but that doesn't means the poor-people OS is not full of malware. First, unlike "open" android, iOS is much more tightly packed and far harder to get malware onto it, second, most of the iOS user base has the latest version of iOS which is the most secure and third, Apple controls iOS, unlike google, so how much time do you think will be needed to fix this problem ? Few days ? A week or two ?

28. Sauce2

Posts: 199; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

They're all fan boys. Non of that means anything to them. All they care about is who looks bad.

10. Sreddy unregistered

Let me quote: don't use 3rd party app stores don't use USB chargers from unknown sources first known malware that can infect an iOS device that hasn't been jailbroken i dont think there is anything to worry about for much of the average users.

47. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Re read the last line tho. Thats pretty big IMO.

49. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Also....I suggest you read the source link. .Its not so much using USB chargers from unknown sources....but using a computer that may/may not be infected. So...really 2 and 3 are pretty big.

11. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

I'm more curious about the 3rd party app store not requiring a jailbreak.

16. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

The chinese are at a freedome to develop Malware/virus and hack since this is encouraged by their govt. This needs to be stopped.

34. FAKEPERSONA unregistered

The future is all cyber-warfare until we reach at the brink of WW3...??? p.s: if they kept doing this, China will have the most man-power for either of fight, physical or virtual...

18. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

So it was safe before all this? Don't think so.

22. Stuntman

Posts: 843; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

The advice given to iOS users to avoid malware is pretty much the same advice given to Android users to avoid malware.

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