Palo Alto Networks reveals discovery of unprecedented iOS and OS X malware

Research spotlights new malware family distributed through trojanised and repackaged Apple OS applications

Palo Alto Networks® (NYSE: PANW), the leader in enterprise security, has announced discovery of a new family of Apple OS X and iOS malware exhibiting characteristics unseen in any previously documented threats targeting Apple platforms. This new family, dubbed WireLurker, marks a new era in malware across Apple’s desktop and mobile platforms, representing a potential threat to businesses, governments and Apple customers worldwide.

Among its defining characteristics, WireLurker represents:

  • the first known malware family that can infect installed iOS applications similar to how a traditional virus would
  • the first in-the-wild malware family that can install third-party applications on non-jailbroken iOS devices through enterprise provisioning
  • only the second known malware family that attacks iOS devices through OS X via USB
  • the first malware family to automate generation of malicious iOS applications through binary file replacement.

WireLurker malware was discovered by Claud Xiao of Unit 42, the Palo Alto Networks threat intelligence team, and detailed in a report, “WireLurker: A New Era in OS X and iOS Malware.”

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