The App Store has long been considered a safe haven, where it was pretty much impossible to download any malicious software, or any program that could potentially harm your phone or computer. But now, the first major attack on app store causes Apple to remove apps. The malware, called XcodeGhost affected several apps on the App Store when Apple immediately pulled them and more than 300 apps where infected with other types of malware. It came after a hacked and modded version of its developer tools were a number of Chinese apps were able to leak personal and private data from users.
Apple were alerted to the error when several groups of cyber security experts contacted them saying they had discovered XcodeGhost in hundreds of legitimate apps from the App store. This is the first time such a high number of malicious apps have found their way through Apples’ strict app store review policy, where every single app has to be checked for quality purposes. This method has not only seen the Apple Store remain safe but also prevented the usual barrage of sub-par apps flooding the market.
Before this latest attack, only five malicious programs had ever been found on the app store, dating back over seven years. Hackers were able to bypass the strict rules imposed by Apple by convincing developers to use fake developer toolkits, which planted the malicious program inside. Legitimate apps were then sent to Apple and passed without problem. Apple have responded to this error by pulling all of the offending apps off of the store.
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