Apple Malware WireLurker can infect iPhone

Recently the security firm Palo Alto Networks, discovered a nasty virus that transfers itself from victims Mac’s to iOS devices, such as iPhone or iPads. Once the virus is on the device itself, WireLurker can go through your phonebook and even read your iMessages and while the motive of the virus isn’t clear as of yet it is definitely powerful. The good news is that WireLurker can only be downloaded onto your iPhone through using a pirated chinese App Store Maiyadi, at this point in time around 467 apps have been infected with the virus. Apple has released a statement saying that it is aware of the malicous software and is already blocking affected applications. If apple is already working to eradicate this malicious software then what is there to worry about, you say? Well its not so much about the malware itself but what it has the potential to do and the opening of a new frontier in malware creation. Wirelurker has the potential to do the following, according the Palo Alto Networks post:

  • Of known malware families distributed through trojanized / repackaged OS X applications, it is the biggest in scale we have ever seen
  • It is only the second known malware family that attacks iOS devices through OS X via USB
  • It is the first malware to automate generation of malicious iOS applications, through binary file replacement
  • It is the first known malware that can infect installed iOS applications similar to a traditional virus
  • It is the first in-the-wild malware to install third-party applications on non-jailbroken iOS devices through enterprise provisioning

So what can you do to prevent something like this from happening to you in the future? Follow these few simple steps to keep yourself safe and secure:

  • Do not connect your device¬†to other peoples computers (PC or Mac).
  • Always download Apps from the App Store, do not use third party App Stores or pirate Apps.
  • Always use genuine Apple products to charge or sync your device.
  • Do not jailbreak your device as it leaves the system open to threats.

So while you have most likely not been one of the 350,000 that have downloaded the malware, remember that in the next few years more malicious software will come along. With more and more people using their devices for banking and handling personal data, is it worth risking this data for a free copy of Angry Birds?

Links:

Original Palo Alto Networks post: http://researchcenter.paloaltonetworks.com/2014/11/wirelurker-new-era-os-x-ios-malware/