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Hackers find backdoor into iPhones and iPads

A new malware is able to first infect Max OS X machines then infiltrate all other Apple’s iOS mobile operating systems and other tablets

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A new malware may have infected as many as 356,000 iOS users – all based in China - according to media reports.

Spotted by the Silicon Valley cybersecurity software developer Palo Alto Networks, the malware, which the company dubbed WireLurker in a research released on Wednesday, is able to first infect Max OS X machines then infiltrate all other Apple’s iOS mobile operating systems and other tablets by installing malicious apps on them.

The malware is packaged inside well-known games including Sims 3, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 and Angry Birds that could be found in Maiyadi App Store, a third-party Mac application store in China.

Once users download any of these rogue applications, their iPhones and other Apple product could be immediately infected as song as their connected to their Macs through a USB.

Hackers would then be able steal private data from users such as their Apple device’s ID number, used Wi-Fi addresses, contacts, iMessages etc.

In a statement carried by The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Apple confirmed the threat.

“We are aware of malicious software available from a download site aimed at users in China, and we’ve blocked the identified apps to prevent them from launching,” said the statement.

Up until now, Apple’s iOS proved to be strongly secure. Other viruses targeting iPhones and iPads have usually focused on “jailbroken” iOS systems. IOS jailbreaking is the process of removing iOS limitations in order to download stolen applications or applications that are unavailable on the official Apple App Store – a compromising process.

However, the WireLurker, although it seems to be only targeting users in China, Palo Alto Networks, which reportedly has been observing the virus since June, described it a “new breed of threat to all iOS devices.”