A new family of malware emerged yesterday called WireLurker, and it's capable of infecting devices running both Apple's mobile iOS platform as well as its desktop Mac OS X operating system. Palo Alto Networks, the security company that uncovered the threat, believes that WireLurker could usher in a new era of increased Apple malware.
For years experts have warned of a coming onslaught of malicious wares targeting Apple systems. In equally hyperbolic fashion, the Cupertino, California computer companies' more fervent fans have claimed their machines are immune to malware. The reality, as is so often the case, rests somewhere in the middle: Apple malware exists without a doubt but it is not as widespread as Windows and Android malware.
“WireLurker was used to trojanize 467 OS X applications in the Maiyadi App Store, a third-party Mac application store in China,” Palo Alto Networks' researcher Claud Xiao said. “In the past six months, these 467 infected applications were downloaded over 356,104 times and may have impacted hundreds of thousands of users.”
To be clear: this threat has only infected users in one popular, Chinese application marketplace, but that doesn't mean it can't spread elsewhere.