Apple Withdraws Several Chinese Apps After Suffering First Major Malware Attack

Hackers tricked app developers into downloading a manipulated version of Xcode, the software used to create iOS apps.

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Complex Original

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In what is being considered the first major malwareattack on Apple's carefully guarded mobile software, several dozen apps have been removed in recent days following the discovery of so-called "malicious code." Apple swiftly removed the potentially infected apps on Sunday after a tip from security company Palo Alto Networks, according to a statement released to Mashable.

"To protect our customers, we’ve removed the apps from the App Store that we know have been created with this counterfeit software," an Apple representative confirmed.  "We are working with the developers to make sure they’re using the proper version of Xcode to rebuild their apps." Those responsible for the attack reportedly succeeded by manipulating app developers via a modified version of the aforementioned Xcode, the software used by developers to build and create iOS apps. This modified version of Xcode was laced with the malware, which then infiltrated the apps during development before making a home in the App Store.

The malware appears to have mainly impacted Chinese social networking apps, including the wildly popular WeChat, though BBC reports that many of the apps are also available outsideChina. Initial investigations have not revealed any theft or exposure of users' personal data, though Palo Alto Networks reveals that "at least one" of the infected apps targeted the attainment of users' iCloud passwords.

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