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Apple Responds to YiSpecter Malware, Says Fix Was Implemented in iOS 8.4

Over the weekend, security site Palo Alto Networks detailed a new iOS malware that's able to infect non-jailbroken Apple devices using enterprise certificates and private APIs. It originated in Taiwan and China and was installed through several methods, including hijacking traffic from ISPs, an SNS worm on Windows, and offline app installation.

Called YiSpecter, the malware is able to download, install, and launch apps, doing things like replacing existing apps, displaying advertisements in legitimate apps, changing Safari's default engine, and uploading user information to remote servers.

yispecterpopupad
A popup ad that was able to install YiSpecter on iOS devices

In response to the detailing of YiSpecter, Apple has released an official statement to The Loop explaining that YiSpecter is only able to target iOS users who are running an older version of iOS that have also downloaded content from untrusted sources.
"This issue only impacts users on older versions of iOS who have also downloaded malware from untrusted sources. We addressed this specific issue in iOS 8.4 and we have also blocked the identified apps that distribute this malware. We encourage customers to stay current with the latest version of iOS for the latest security updates. We also encourage them to only download from trusted sources like the App Store and pay attention to any warnings as they download apps."
Apple implemented fixes for YiSpecter in iOS 8.4, so iOS 8.4.1 and iOS 9 are immune to the malware. Users who want to avoid being targeted by YiSpecter should make sure to upgrade to the latest version of iOS and as always, should avoid downloading apps from unverified sources.



Top Rated Comments

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11 months ago
Cue the people who claim that Apple is "forcing them to upgrade" by patching things in new software and who are complaining because they can't seem to get over using iOS6.
Rating: 21 Votes
11 months ago

"Apple implemented fixes for YiSpecter in iOS 8.4, so iOS 8.4.1 and iOS 9 are immune to the malware."
Macrumors:
You need to fix this. Not only is it a run-on sentence, I can't tell if fix was in 8.4 or 8.4.1

Actually, it's not; it's a compound sentence. Compound sentences are made out of two independent clauses (e.g. "Apple implemented fixes for YiSpecter in iOS 8.4" and "iOS 8.4.1 and iOS 9 are immune to the malware"). Between the two clauses, the coordinating conjunction "so" is inserted. As the first clause clearly states, the fix was implemented in iOS 8.4.
Rating: 12 Votes
11 months ago

exactly. 8% is still literally tens of millions of users. you can just close your eyes and pretend they aren't there, or that it's only 8%, but they are there.

Meanwhile, Android and Windows Phone have left phones just a year old with no further patches...forever.
Rating: 6 Votes
11 months ago

You mean the < 8% of people still on iOS7?

exactly. 8% is still literally tens of millions of users. you can just close your eyes and pretend they aren't there, or that it's only 8%, but they are there.
Rating: 4 Votes
11 months ago

Yet they are forcing upgrades. Why can't Apple copy Google Play Services where devices don't have to receive OS updates in order to obtain security updates?

There are literally millions of users out there with vulnerable software because Apple doesn't support them or the user can't upgrade to the latest OS.

Why have I been seeing so many articles about Android lately that mention all these security holes that need OS updates to patch them? If it were as simple as issuing an update through Google Play Services, wouldn't all of these holes be a moot point?
Rating: 3 Votes
11 months ago
MacRumors has become the go to spot for Language and Literature experts....
Rating: 3 Votes
11 months ago

Does this affect iOS 7, iOS 6, iOS 5, iOS 4, or iOS 3?

Lots of iOS devices cannot upgrade past those.


A device that cannot upgrade past iOS3 isn't really Apple's target market. Of course, I guess going back FOUR GENERATIONS isn't enough for some people. Those people are more than welcome to go use any of the myriad Android devices that lose support after a few months.

MacRumors has become the go to spot for Language and Literature experts....


We've really arrived in a sad place when simple middle school grammar is considered "language and literature expertise."
Rating: 3 Votes
11 months ago

Does this affect iOS 7, iOS 6, iOS 5, iOS 4, or iOS 3?

Lots of iOS devices cannot upgrade past those.


iPhone 4 is over 5 years old (which is the latest oldest iPhone unsupported) - if you cannot upgrade a phone that is 5 years old to something newer (if you you put $10 each week for 5 years you could purchase two top of the line iPhone 6 phones today - off contract). At some point you have to have a cut off point to stop providing updates and I don't think it is untoward cutting off support for a device that is 5 years old.
Rating: 2 Votes
11 months ago
One of the good reasons to always install the latest iOS update

Yes. Recently bad xcode was included in app builds that passed the app store filters. It was discovered and the apps have been removed but a few were popular apps. Not sure anything happened because of it but the bad code was there for legitimate downloads. Look for xcodeghost. http://www.macrumors.com/2015/09/20/xcodeghost-chinese-malware-faq/

It was only in the Chinese App Store
Rating: 2 Votes
11 months ago

Then go use Android


I am. I have a Nexus 5 and am looking to upgrade to the 6P.

Apple coddling the lowest common denominator on the laziness scale isn't their business model.


Laziness scale? Wow, so harsh. Providing security updates isn't coddling either.

Also, sorry, but if you can't get a new phone in FIVE YEARS then perhaps you have more important things to address than owning a smartphone


- Not everyone has the ability to purchase brand new phones every year.
- Not everyone likes the new iPhones.

The iPhone 4S is on it's last update and people are STILL using that phone because of its size.
Rating: 2 Votes

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