Security firm Palo Alto Networks has discovered a new type of malware that could endanger mobile devices powered by Apple’s iOS mobile operating system. Called “AceDeceiver,” this malware works its way into a personal computer and then infects any mobile device connected to that PC, and is even capable of of sneakily downloading malicious mobile apps without the user’s knowledge or consent.
AceDeceiver is considered one of the first types of malware to ever threaten factory configured iPhone devices, as opposed to handsets that mobile users themselves have altered in order install unauthorized third party apps. This malware also possesses the ability to infect mobile devices that are not jailbroken. Jailbreaking is something that a number of mobile users resort to when they want to go around the native security systems present in their Apple devices, basically allowing them to download apps and other software otherwise not approved by Apple for use its products. Because jailbroken devices are already sort of compromised security wise, they tend to be more exposed to malware than factory configured handsets.
Despite the fact that the AceDeceiver malware has only affected iOS mobile users based in mainland China so far, Palo Alto Networks is warning that this kind of attack could be employed by hackers based in other regions. And because AceDeceiver can attack both factory configured and non-jailbroken devices, it has the potential of causing far more damage to mobile users everywhere
Apple had already been informed by Palo Alto Networks by late February early this year, and the iPhone maker has since gone on to get rid of a trio of related mobile apps from its App Store. This latest malware discovery only illustrates how Apple and its software engineers are constantly trying to one up malware creators who are constantly trying to find ways in which they can exploit vulnerabilities in the company’s iOS mobile operating system. It is often not enough for Apple’s code warriors to debug glitches because by the time they come up with a fix, hackers may have already found another way in. It is this never ending battle that the company has been trying to let people see when it argued against the FBI’s request to create a backdoor hack for its own iOS mobile platform.
In October of last year, Palo Alto Networks also got wind of a malware called YiSpecter affecting iOS powered mobile devices in China and in Taiwan.
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