First Major Attack on Apple’s App Store

First Major Attack on Apple’s App Store

Apple has been subjected to it’s first major attack on the App Store. The company with a stringent app review process had to remove more than 300 malware-infected apps (The Guardian, 2015). Thousands of apps are turned in daily to Apple and until this attack the app store had found very few apps with malware in them.

Per The Independent and ThinkProgress, “Rogue program XcodeGhost was found in legitimate apps. The code can trick developers wanting to use Apple’s genuine Xcode software into downloading the counterfeit version.” The counterfeit code was uploaded to servers located in China. “Apple has removed the apps that they know have been created with the counterfeit software,” Apple spokeswoman Christine Monaghan said. Per USA Today, “Many of the affected apps have huge audiences in China, including the messaging app WeChat.” Chinese President XI Jinping is scheduled to arrive in the United States on Tuesday for a visit that will include a discussion about cyber security.

Our Analysis

This is being described as the first large attack on Apple’s app store. Even though majority of the apps seemed to be largely used by the Chinese, some are widely used throughout the world. WeChat 6.2.5 is the version that has been affected and that newer versions were not affected (BBC News, 2015). If you have WeChat installed, then be sure to check the current version you are running.

Above is an example as to why you always want to keep your apps and software up to date. Whether it is on a PC, Android or iOS device, be sure to keep them up to date. Inside of the app store you will be able to update an app individually or 1 click to update all apps that have a new update.

For more information on what XcodeGhost is, which apps are affected and other updated information about this attack, then be sure to follow this forum post MacRumors. If you have any of the apps that are listed in the forum, then delete them immediately. Also using another device you may want to change all of your passwords. It is undetermined at the moment if any data has been leaked. If you are really worried that malware has infected your phone, then you could factory reset the device.


USA Today
The Independent
The Guardian
BBC News

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About Scott Entsminger

Scott Entsminger was born and raised in Virginia. He graduated from Radford University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice. Scott has worked for the Department of Defense since graduating college. He is an expert in Windows Administration; with specific experience in Group Policy and vulnerability remediation. He also has specific experience in Information Assurance (IA) and Cyber Security. Scott holds the CompTIA Security+ certification. He is always looking to diversify his skillset. Scott is an avid sports fan, particularly baseball. He also is an avid gamer and enjoys learning different skills involving his PC.