WireLurker: A New Kind of Security Threat for the iOS

Apple devices have long lorded their comparable lack of malware over their Windows competitors. However a new cyber security threat, dubbed WireLurker, may signal a coming change in the iOS’s fortunes. Working Nets, one of Maryland’s leading cyber security providers, is here with the details on why this malware is particularly dangerous for iOS devices.

What is WireLurker? What Makes it Dangerous?

WireLurker is a piece of malware, originating in China on some 500 infected apps on the unofficial Maiyadi app store, which has already infected close to 400,000 iOS devices. More importantly, WireLurker is the first known malware to target non-jailbroken iOS devices. Previously malware on the iOS was confined to users who jailbroke (disconnecting their operating system from Apple’s network and disabling limitations on installing unauthorized software) their phone, meaning that most consumers of Apple products had a very high degree of guaranteed security. The discovery of WireLurker could herald an onslaught of malware directed at iOS devices belonging to anyone.

How Does WireLurker Work?

WireLurker makes its way onto a device through infected malware downloaded from an app store or the internet, from there it infects the iOS of that machine, and makes its way to others by installing rogue apps whenever an infected device is connected via USB to an uninfected one. The original WireLurker malware made its way onto such a large number of devices because it was hidden inside seemingly legitimate applications, including illegitimate versions of highly successful games like The Sims 3 and Angry Birds.

What Does WireLurker Do?

WireLurker like most malware is used for data collection. What’s especially unusual is what data the malware seems to be interested in collecting. Most malware gathers up as much personal data as it can handle but WireLurker has only been observed identifying device owners, leading some to speculate that it was being used by the Chinese government to root out the identity of software pirates. However the amateurish nature of WireLurker’s distribution has made most cyber security experts skeptical of that assertion.

Keep All Your iOS Devices Secure With Working Nets

Keeping up with the latest cyber security threats can be exhausting, especially if you’re already running your own business. Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company. Working Nets is a Maryland based IT Service and Security company that services businesses nationwide. We’re always on top of emerging cybersecurity trends and threats so you don’t have to be.

To talk to someone about managed IT for your business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

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