Apple announced the steps following a report yesterday by security service provider Palo Alto Networks about WireLurker, a new type of malware designed to steal information from applications running on Apple’s OS X operating system for laptops and computers, and iPhones and iPads running iOS. Apple’s machines are considered less vulnerable to viruses and hacking compared with other computers, such as those running Microsoft Windows.
“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,” Apple said.
“As always, we recommend that users download and install software from trusted sources.”
WireLurker was first spotted by a developer at China-based Tencent Holdings in June, Palo Alto Networks said in yesterday’s report. It is probably the first known malware capable of infecting software on Apple’s mobile devices in a manner similar to traditional viruses, the security company said.
“WireLurker is unlike anything we’ve ever seen in terms of Apple iOS and OS X malware,” said Ryan Olson, Palo Alto Networks’ intelligence director.