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Apple devices targeted by hackers in China

A malicious software campaign called WireLurker is infecting Apple devices in China.

According to researchers from a security company called Palo Alto Networks, the campaign is specifically targeting Mac OS users in the eastern nation.

The Silicon Valley-based security firm says over 400 Mac OS X apps have been infected, although only if downloaded through the Maiyadi App Store.

Maiyadi is a third-party app store not officially sanctioned by Apple, which means that some 467 compromised apps have been downloaded upwards of 350,000 times.

PAN reckons Chinese iOS devices could also be at risk if users connect their iPhones or iPads to Macs via USB.

iOS devices are typically safe from malicious content, largely because Apple vets all software in its App Store.

Usually users would need to jailbreak their devices to actually be at risk from malicious software, but that’s not the case with WireLurker.

WireLurker monitors any iOS device connected via USB with an infected OS X computer and installs downloaded third-party applications or automatically generated malicious applications onto the device, regardless of whether it is jailbroken,” said the firm’s research team.

The security researchers say WireLurker-infected devices can have important info nicked under the radar, including contacts and iMessages. The attackers can also update the malware remotely to make it harder to remove.

Obviously the best way to ensure your device stays safe is to not download software from third-party stores, or plug your iPhone into any unknown iMacs.

Apple began selling its iPhone in China for the first time this year, kicking off with the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

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