Researcher from Palo Alto Networks, a computer security firm, have found out that hackers, who have targeting jail-broken iPhones, have raided more than 225,000 Apple accounts, using them for app buying sprees or to hold phones for ransom.
The jailbreak is a tool in iPhones to use additional iThing tweaks available through the alternative Cydia store, and for some to pirate software by installing ripped-off apps for free.
“In cooperation with WeipTech, we have identified 92 samples of a new iOS malware family in the wild. We have analyzed the samples to determine the author’s ultimate goal and have named this malware “KeyRaider”. We believe this to be the largest known Apple account theft caused by malware,” the researchers posted in a blog.
Claud Xiao, a researcher, said that the KeyRaider malware, hidden in jailbreaking utilities, is slurping login credentials and GUIDs from the user’s iTunes data, and siphoning them off to remote servers.
“We believe this to be the largest known Apple account theft caused by malware,” Xiao said. “The malware hooks system processes through MobileSubstrate, and steals Apple account usernames, passwords and device GUID by intercepting iTunes traffic on the device.”
He confirmed that the purpose of the attack was to make it possible for users of two iOS jailbreak tweaks to download applications from the official App Store and make in-app purchases without actually paying.
It is said that especially the people in China got affected but herald from 17 other countries including France, Russia, Japan, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, Israel, Italy, Spain, Singapore, and South Korea from the attack.
Similarly, some people said that they were being locked out of phones and forced to pay ransoms.
According to the researchers, the attack was discovered by a Yangzhou University student known as i_82 who worked with Xiao alongside a group. They exploited an SQL injection vulnerability on the bad guy’s server to learn about the attack. They siphoned about half of the stolen accounts before the VXer became savvy and punted the white hats. They have now set up a website for users to check if they are impacted.