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iOS security risks: After the XcodeGhost exploit is Apple's iOS really safer than Android? Plus: What security apps do you need for iPad & iPhone

Karen Haslam | Sept. 24, 2015
In this article we look at some of the security threats that have hit Apple's iOS devices, including XcodeGhost, WireLurker, Masque Attack, the Olag Pliss ransom case and the SSL flaw.

In this article we look at some of the security threats that have hit Apple's iOS devices, including XcodeGhost, WireLurker, Masque Attack, the Olag Pliss ransom case and the SSL flaw. We also discuss what measures you should implement to ensure your device is safe, and we evaluate whether the iPhone and iPad are safe from malware.

According to Apple the iOS platform is completely secure. The company even states that it "designed the iOS platform with security at its core. Keeping information secure on mobile devices is critical for any user, whether they're accessing corporate and customer information or storing personal photos, banking information, and addresses. Because every user's information is important, iOS devices are built to maintain a high level of security without compromising the user experience."

As a result, Apple's iPad and iPhone are generally considered to be safe and secure devices to use, and many confidently claim that iOS is safer than Android. However, Apple's iOS platform for the iPad and iPhone hasn't been without its security breaches and vulnerabilitiies, and nor has iCloud, the cloud storage service which makes it possible to access documents, photos and more on all of your Apple devices.

Read on to find out about:

  • The XcodeGhost exploit and what it means to you
  • Masque Attack
  • WireLurker
  • Jennifer Lawrence and the iCloud photo exposure
  • The Oleg Pliss ransom case
  • The SSL flaw
  • How to make sure your iPhone or iPad is secure
  • How to update your iPhone to the latest iOS
  • What antivirus program do you need on your iPhone
  • Passwords
  • iCloud Keychain
  • and more...

The latest security exploits to affect iOS on the iPhone and iPad: What you need to know about XcodeGhost

In the lastest security exploit, which was identified around 20 September, some developers - located in China - have used the incorrect program to create apps for the iOS app store. It is thought that the developers downloaded a fake version of Xcode because it was taking too long to download Xcode from Apple's own servers, which are hosted in the US. Xcode weighs in at around 3.9GB in total. The Chinese developers were using XcodeGhost rather than Apple's Xcode.

While the affected apps are Chinese, there are a few popular apps among them such as Angry Birds 2, although Rovio has confirmed that only the Chinese App store version of Angry Birds 2 is vulnerable, and that a fix is coming soon, according to 9to5Mac.

Apparently 39 apps have been affected by the malicious code, according to security firm Palo Alto Networks, there is a full list on 9to5Mac. However, there may in fact be more than 300 apps infected, according to a Chinese security firm who said it found 344 infected apps, writes V3. It seems that only apps purchased from the Chinese App Store are affected though.

 

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