Despite the adverts that Apple has put out in the past, there are viruses for the Mac and anyone who tells you otherwise is a fool. One new piece of malware discovered in China actually infects your desktop before migrating to your iPhone when you plug it into the computers USB port.
Apparently the new piece of malware, known as ‘WireLurker’ was discovered by a team of security researchers for Palo Alto Network and is the biggest scale attack that they’ve ever seen. So far the malware has infected 467 applications on the Maiyadi App Store, a third party Chinese Mac app store. Infected apps have been downloaded over 356,104 times, potentially infecting hundreds of thousands of Chinese Apple devices.
But, as the team makes painfully aware, the malware isn’t just restricted to OS X, it is also capable of infecting iOS devices when they’re connected to an infected computer.
“WireLurker monitors any iOS device connected via USB with an infected OS X computer and installs downloaded third-party applications or automatically generated malicious applications onto the device, regardless of whether it is jailbroken”
That’s apparently why it was dubbed ‘WireLurker’.
Once on the iOS device, the malware opens up access to user data including iMessage, and the address book. Fortunately nobody’s data has been compromised just yet. It seems as though the people behind the bug are still waiting before they actually make a serious move.
People over here don’t need to worry too much, because WireLurker still seems to be restricted to China for the time being and Apple is actively working on patching the hole that the bug is exploiting. Just remember, just because you use a Mac doesn’t mean you’re automatically safe.