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Just saw an article about the vicious malware that is Wirelurker. In short, Wirelurker can attack even non-jailbroken iOS devices, and has great potential to turn these wonderful iOS devices into dumb bots:

Once WireLurker is on your iPhone or iPad, it appears to do a number of weird and wonderful things. If you’re not jailbroken, WireLurker simply installs/side-loads more apps from the iTunes App Store. If you’re jailbroken, it does a lot more, including infecting/trojanizing existing apps on your iOS device and backing them up to your Mac. In both cases, WireLurker constantly pings a central command server, which can trigger a payload update, or instruct WireLurker to harvest and transmit sensitive details from your device.

What can be done to safeguard against this heinous software?

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Do not download third-party apps from untrusted sources.

In System Preferences, Set:

Security & Privacy --> General --> Allow apps downloaded from: to either

Mac App Store or Mac App Store and identified developers

So far it seems this is only transferable from a computer to device over a usb to iTunes connection, which means the computer must be infected with one of these third party apps. Also seems pretty limited to China and its third party app store for now.

Digital Trends Article.

PaloAlto Networks Article

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Palo Alto Networks said the bug, known as WireLurker, spreads through apps uploaded to jailbroken Apple devices from a third-party store, but is also a serious threat to Apple devicesthat have not been tampered with. WireLurker can be transferred from a Mac computer to a mobile device through a USB cable.

“Characteristics of this malware family, including its ability to infect even non-jailbroken iOS through trojanized and repackaged OS X applications suggest that it marks a new era in malware across Apple’s desktop and mobile platforms,” Claud Xiao, of Palo Alto’s Unit 42 threat intelligence team who uncovered the malware. WireLurker was first noticed in June this year when a developer from Chinese firm Tencent observed there were suspicious files and processes occurring in his iPhone and Mac computer.

The Palo Alto report said that once WireLurker gets into a Mac computer, the malware contacts a command-and-control server to check if its code needs to be updated. The malware waits until an iPhone, iPad or iPod is connected to the Mac computer. When an iOS connects to the computer, WireLurker checks if the mobile device is jailbroken.

If the iOS device is jailbroken, WireLurker backs up the device’s apps to the Mac and then repackages the apps with malware. After that the infected apps are returned to the iOS device.

Basically, don't install application from untrusted sites.

Source: WireLurker bug a new threat to iOS, OS X machines

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