Apple Removes 250 Apps that Spy on Users from App Store

Believe it or not, but I’ve moved past the false claim by many that Apple products are immune from virus attacks. That claim just isn’t true, but like I said, I’ve more on.

Yes, viruses do attack Apple products, but at least the company is finally doing something about it.

Apple today removed more than 250 apps from its App Store that were using software from a Chinese advertising company that secretly accessed and stored users’ personal information. The firm, called Youmi, provided app makers with a software development kit that would glean which apps a user had downloaded, that user’s email address, and the serial numbers of their smartphone, according to mobile security company SourceDNA. The apps in total received 1 million downloads.


Malware Attacking iOS Devices

We were always told that iOS products were special for a number of reasons, but especially because they were impervious to virus and malware. Boy oh boy how times have changed.

Cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks has identified new malware, which it calls YiSpecter, that infects iOS devices by abusing private APIs. Most affected users live in China and Taiwan.

Once it infects a phone, YiSpecter can install unwanted apps; replacing legitimate apps with ones it has downloaded; force apps to display full-screen advertisements; change bookmarks and default search engines in Safari; and send user information back to its server. It also automatically reappears even after users manually delete it from their iOS devices.

Palo Alto Networks says YiSpecter is unusual for iOS malware—at least ones that have been identified so far—because it attacks jailbroken and non-jailbroken iOS devices by misusing private APIs to allow its four components (which are signed with enterprise certificates to appear legitimate) to download and install each other from a centralized server.

In the post, Palo Alto Networks’ security researcher Claud Xiao wrote that by abusing enterprise certificates and private APIs, YiSpecter is not only able to infect more devices, but “pushes the line barrier of iOS security back another step.”


Do you need anti-virus software for a tablet?

tablet virus

Do you need anti-virus for a tablet?

A. Yes and yes! There have already been a few tablet-specific viruses and it’s only a matter of time before they become widespread. For anti-virus software, I recommend Lookout’s anti-virus app. It also works on smartphones, so download it for your other mobile gadgets, too. It helps to make sure your tablet is running the most recent software it can, too. To update an iPad, go to Settings>>General Software Update and for Androids, it’s Settings>>System Updates. I recommend switching your phone’s default browser, too. Chrome and Opera Mini are both fantastic mobile browsers that are more secure.

Screen shot 2014-01-18 at 8.36.55 PM

h/t – usatoday