×

Apple Removes Malware-Infected Apps From the App Store

Apple has removed a number of apps from the App Store after news broke that hackers had found a way to distribute malware through those apps without the knowledge of the app publishers. It’s unknown how many users downloaded the apps before Apple took action.

Hackers found a backdoor into the App Store by adding malicious code to Xcode, a collection of software development tools used by programmers to build apps for iPhones and iPads. Apple typically distributes Xcode itself, but popular new releases can lead to long download times. That’s why developers at times redistribute these kinds of tools to help each other to faster downloads. Hackers apparently did just that — but not before modifying Xcode to add malware to any app compiled with it.

Security research company Palo Alto Networks first published a report about the problem on Friday, initially writing that likely a few dozen apps were infected by the malware, and estimating that it could affect “hundreds of millions of users.” At the time, it looked like the problem was mostly affecting Chinese apps.

However, a Dutch security company followed up with its own investigation, identifying dozens of additional apps. Some of those apps, while developed in China, have international audiences, including the popular messaging app WeChat and business card scanner CamCard.

Some of the affected companies have since replaced their apps; Tencent, the maker of WeChat, has asked users to update their apps, according to a New York Times report. Some other apps, including the file archival tool WinZip, remain unavailable on the app store.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • T.J. Dillashaw, right, kicks Cody Garbrandt

    Disney Plans UFC Broadcast for FX

    UFC matches will return to FX  – but not on a permanent basis. ESPN has been showing preliminary bouts to UFC pay-per-view events for the last while on ESPN and ESPN2, and then showing the main card on its ESPN+ subscription video service. In September, the early lineup will air on FX, which the UFC [...]

  • fundo logo

    Google‘s Area 120 Is Testing Fundo, a Crowdfunding Service for Creators (EXCLUSIVE)

    Google’s skunkworks lab Area 120 has been quietly testing an events-centric crowdfunding service for YouTubers, Variety has learned. Called Fundo, the service allows creators to invite their fans to virtual meet & greet sessions and other paid online events. A Google spokesperson confirmed the testing in a statement provided to Variety: “One of the many [...]

  • Telling Lies - Logan Marshall-Green

    Sam Barlow's 'Telling Lies' Government-Surveillance Thriller Game Sets Release Date

    After more than two years in the works, “Telling Lies” — the investigative thriller from acclaimed game creator Sam Barlow — is ready to take the stage. The game, produced with and released by Annapurna Interactive, will be available next Friday, Aug. 23, via Steam and Apple’s Mac and iOS app stores. “Telling Lies” will [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Will Stop Letting Copyright Holders Seize Revenue via Manual Claims on Very Short Music Clips

    YouTube is pushing back against overzealous copyright policing by music companies. Starting in mid-September, the video giant will forbid copyright holders from making manual claims to commandeer revenue generated by YouTube videos that include very short music clips (e.g., five seconds of a song) or “unintentional” music (like music from passing cars). “One concerning trend [...]

  • Chelsea Handler memoir book buy online

    Chelsea Handler Bonds With Alexa in iHeartRadio Smart Speaker Promo

    iHeartRadio has teamed up with Amazon to promote Chelsea Handler’s podcast “Life Will Be The Death Of Me.” Beginning this Thursday, users of Amazon’s Echo smart speaker and other devices with Alexa built-in can opt to get their mornings started with Handler cracking jokes and exchanging banter with the smart assistant. Users simply have to [...]

  • David Messinger, Activision Blizzard

    Activision Blizzard Hires CAA Veteran David Messinger as CMO

    Activision Blizzard tapped David Messinger, a former 15-plus-year veteran of CAA, as its first corporate-wide chief marketing officer. Messinger, based in Santa Monica, reports to Coddy Johnson, Activision Blizzard’s president and COO. It’s the first time the video-game company has appointed a CMO who will oversee the global marketing operations across all of Activision Blizzard [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content