Researchers at Palo Alto Networks announced this week that they have unearthed a new malware strain that targets Apple products. The malware has been dubbed “WireLurker.”
Brett Molina, of USA Today, reported, “security researchers have discovered new malware targeting Apple’s iOS mobile operating system and OS X for Macs that can be transmitted through USB connections.” Molina noted, “Thus far it’s limited to users in China who have downloaded infected apps from a third-party app store there. But security experts worry that with this ‘proof of concept’ example, it could spread.” Molina explained the significance of the discovery saying, “Historically Apple devices have been considered relatively safe from the viruses and malware that have long infected PCs and, increasingly, Android products.”
Help Net Security stated that WireLurker is “the first malware family to infect installed iOS applications in a way typical for a traditional virus. It is also the first malware that automates the generation of malicious iOS applications through binary file replacement.” Help Net Security summed up the purpose of the malware stating, “The OS X malware’s mission is to collect information about the iOS device connected to it and to infect it. The iOS malware’s [purpose] is to collect user data and send it to a server controlled by the attackers.”
WireLurker is yet another example of how malware attacks are so prevalent – even on mobile operating systems. What can users do protect their devices as well as their information from an attack like WireLurker? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and be sure to check out our Tumblr for the latest industry news stories.