Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) said it had discovered a malware, a family of malware in fact, that appears to originate from China but targeting iPhone and Mac devices. The provider of network security platforms said it has notified Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) about the issue, Reuters stated in an article. However, it said there was no evidence that something serious had been comprised by attackers.
According to Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW), a malicious app was uploaded to app stores that users downloading from the stores are getting infected. The malware has mostly impacted users in China, where the attacks have originated. At the point of discovery, Palo Alto Networks stated that 400 compromised apps had been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.
Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) believes that the attackers may have comprised or stolen messaging IDs from the address books of iPhone and Mac users. While that doesn’t seem much of a threat, at least so far, the whole thing is bad news. It is coming at a time when Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) only recently rolled out is ambitious mobile payment, Apple Pay.
It is reported that the malware can hop from an infected Mac desktop computer onto an iPhone device via the USB connector. The malware is known as “WireLurker”. The discovery of the malware further validates the sophistication of cyberattacks, especially on the iPhone and Mac devices. It is the first time that such a threat is being reported about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices.
Although Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had been notified about the attacks targeting its devices, the company has yet to comment on the matter.
The increase in targeted attacks on connected devices is a serious headache for manufacturers as it is to users. As it has been seen in the past, and recently cyberattacks have far-reaching implications on the reputation of the companies whose systems have been comprised. That explains why Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) must be worried about the development of WireLurker, the malware after its devices. Apple continues to remain one of the most expensive iphones phones.
JAT Capital Management, led by John Thaler, held 136,200 shares of Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE:PANW) at the end of the second quarter of 2014.