Apple purges malicious iPhone and iPad apps from App Store

Ghost in the machine

Apple App Store XcodeGhost

Apple claims a large-scale attack has forced it to undertake a clear-out of its iOS App Store.

According to cyber security firms alerting Apple to the issue, hundreds of iPhone and iPad apps were embedded with malicious software dubbed XcodeGhost, forcing their removal.

The attack is the first reported case of malicious software getting past Apple's stringent app review process in such large numbers.

Rotten app-le

The malicious code made it into the App Store after hackers convinced unwary developers to use a counterfeit version of Xcode, Apple's software for developing iOS and Mac apps.

Palo Alto Networks director of threat intelligence Ryan Olson insists the knock-off Xcode software was obtained from a server in China, which may have been used due to faster downloads than the ones offered by Apple's US servers.

Unsurprisingly, Apple refused to say how many infected apps it had discovered, but Chinese security firm Qihoo360 Technology announced via a blogpost that it had counted 344.

  • Despite this attack, we're sure iOS 9 will prove very popular.

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