Unfortunately, I installed some of the apps mentioned on this list, and confirmed that the versions I have are still compromised by XcodeGhost: http://researchcenter.paloaltonetworks.com/2015/09/malware-xcodeghost-infects-39-ios-apps-including-wechat-affecting-hundreds-of-millions-of-users/

Of course, I have immediately removed them. But what I am concerned about is whether they have managed to hide the virus anywhere else in the system? The article doesn't explicitly address this, but did the virus manage to break out of iOS sandboxing?

Also, relatedly, does anyone know if the infected apps collected anything else besides those already reported by Palto Alto Networks?, e.g. texts, contact info, etc?

Current time Current infected app’s name The app’s bundle identifier Current device’s name and type Current system’s language and country Current device’s UUID Network type

It's already been reported here that the malware phishes for iCloud passwords: http://researchcenter.paloaltonetworks.com/2015/09/update-xcodeghost-attacker-can-phish-passwords-and-open-urls-though-infected-apps/

  • It seems the "phishing" was pure speculation and there's no reason to think it was capable of that. I've updated my answer with an official statement from Apple.
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


Since you aren't asking about OSX (that should be a separate question), I'll focus on the iOS ramifications. The apps created by the malicious Xcode installer can be cleaned up by deleting the apps.

The iOS sandbox wasn't compromised, just that the app review team didn't notice the bad behavior of the app.

What you did by running an "infected iOS app" was let the villains know your device UDID and probably the IP address your device had when it ran the app and self-reported.

There's no reporting to say that the iOS sandbox was compromised, so no emails, no texts, no passwords were compromised.

Apple has released confirmation that the code could not compromise iCloud and didn't leak anything except for the most general "an anonymous phone ran this app ping" which would needs lots of corroborating information to be a risk to anyone unless there were many extenuating circumstances.

How does this affect me? How do I know if my device has been compromised?

We have no information to suggest that the malware has been used to do anything malicious or that this exploit would have delivered any personally identifiable information had it been used.

We’re not aware of personally identifiable customer data being impacted and the code also did not have the ability to request customer credentials to gain iCloud and other service passwords.

As soon as we recognized these apps were using potentially malicious code we took them down. Developers are quickly updating their apps for users.

Malicious code could only have been able to deliver some general information such as the apps and general system information.

See https://archive.is/PWqMV (Archived copy of dead link https://www.apple.com/cn/xcodeghost/#english) for the full statement from Apple that includes a list of the affected apps.

(Well, a list of 25 of > 4000 affected apps, and the obviously false statement, given that the link is now dead, "We will update this page with more information as it becomes available.")

  • If he copped the passwords into the clipboard then the attacker could have got them.
    – iProgram
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 21:22
  • If the OP got a bogus prompt and entered credentials, then they got phished. the question is a bit of a mess though. Removal should be one question. Impact should be another. Thoughts on editing it to be so @iProgram?
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 21:30
  • Yes, the question is rather long, but I thought they were all related to the extent of the damage. For example, if the malware was somehow able to breach the sandbox, and impact things like text messages, then I assume removing it wouldn't be as simple as just deleting the affected app(s). But it’s nice to know that hasn’t happened, and removing the app will stop further damage.
    – user150951
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 22:49
  • @user150951 All facts and information I have been able to gather was the "phishing" was theoretical and conjecture and not any rigorous analysis of the code that was injected in question. Apple has the code and isn't dodging the issue AFAIK. I'm impressed by the speed of action, transparency and open sharing of information from Apple on this.
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 21:43
  • apple.com/cn/xcodeghost/#english is a dead link. Replacing with archive.is/PWqMV Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 19:35

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