Security Researchers Discover XcodeSpy Malware That Targets Developers

Developers need to look out for "XcodeSpy," a malicious Xcode project that installs a custom variant of the "EggShell" backdoor on a macOS computer, according to new research shared today by SentinelOne (via Ars Technica).

iu 2 1
Xcode is software designed for developers who want to write apps for the iOS and macOS platforms, and the malicious project that's circulating mirrors TabBarInteraction, a legitimate open source project.

Developers who download the XcodeSpy project think they're getting TabBarInteraction, but the malware includes a hidden "run Script" executable that downloads and installs the EggShell open source back door that's able to spy on users through the microphone, camera, and keyboard as well as upload and download files.

Two variants of the custom EggShell attack were found to be uploaded in Japan, first in August and then in October, so this is an attack that's been out in the wild for some time.

We have thus far been unable to discover other samples of trojanized Xcode projects and cannot gauge the extent of this activity. However, the timeline from known samples and other indicators mentioned below suggest that other XcodeSpy projects may exist. By sharing details of this campaign, we hope to raise awareness of this attack vector and highlight the fact that developers are high-value targets for attackers.

SentinelOne says that all Apple Developers that use Xcode should exercise caution when using shared Xcode projects.

Tag: Xcode

Top Rated Comments

jonnysods Avatar
9 weeks ago
Get ready for lots of Justin Long Intel videos about this next week.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
9 weeks ago

Laughing on my Linux developer laptop.
What is so funny? It's not like Linux hasn't had Malware problems.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
9 weeks ago
Comes under the heading, be very careful about what you download.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hot-gril Avatar
9 weeks ago

Why is it being called a Trojan when it has to be actively installed?
Cause that's what trojans are.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hot-gril Avatar
9 weeks ago

Comes under the heading, be very careful about what you download.
Xcode does warn you when opening an xcodeproj downloaded from the Internet, but given how frequently you legitimately have to open and build random projects, I wish there were better sandboxing. The "run script" phase runs arbitrary code, ofc necessary when building many things but also an attack vector.

Edit: And even if you're not manually opening/building projects, you're probably using Cocoapods, which is. Of course other dev platforms have similar risks.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Unsupported Avatar
9 weeks ago

Why is it being called a Trojan when it has to be actively installed?
https://usa.kaspersky.com/resource-center/threats/trojans

A Trojan horse or Trojan is a type of malware that is often disguised as legitimate software. Trojans can be employed by cyber-thieves and hackers trying to gain access to users' systems. Users are typically tricked by some form of social engineering into loading and executing Trojans on their systems. Once activated, Trojans can enable cyber-criminals to spy on you, steal your sensitive data, and gain backdoor access to your system. These actions can include:

•Deleting data
•Blocking data
•Modifying data
•Copying data
•Disrupting the performance of computers or computer networks


Modifying data?

So it could infect the project that the developer is working on?

Nasty!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

2021 mbp hdmi slot 3d

2021 MacBook Pro Leaks Confirm Returning MagSafe and Ports

Friday May 14, 2021 3:06 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming MacBook Pro models are expected to feature a number of major changes such as larger display options and powerful new Apple silicon chips. Among the more surprising updates to this year's MacBook Pro models is the return of three ports that have been missing from the machines for over five years. Expected to come in 14- and 16-inch sizes, the 2021 MacBook Pro models are...
General Music and AirPod 3 Feature

Rumor: Apple to Announce Third-Generation AirPods and HiFi Apple Music Tier on May 18

Thursday May 13, 2021 10:32 pm PDT by
A new rumor suggests that Apple will announce the third-generation AirPods and the recently rumored HiFi, or high-fidelity Apple Music tier, on Tuesday, May 18, via a press release on its website. The new rumor comes from Apple YouTuber Luke Miani who shared the alleged exclusive news with the AppleTrack website. According to the YouTuber, Apple plans to release the next-generation AirPods...
m1 ipad pro early customer

M1 iPad Pro Arrives Early for Lucky Customer

Saturday May 15, 2021 11:57 pm PDT by
Days ahead of their expected launch and seemingly before official review embargoes lift, one lucky customer has already gotten their hands on the brand new 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro. Reddit User PeterDragon50 Posted on Reddit, u/PeterDragon50 has already received their 12.9-inch iPad Pro through retailer Nebraska Furniture Mart. The Reddit user says they placed their order when pre-orders...
Twitter Feature

Twitter's 'Blue' Subscription Service May Cost $2.99, Will Offer Undo Tweet Option

Saturday May 15, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Twitter has been working on some kind of subscription service since last summer, and Jane Manchun Wong, who often digs into new features coming in apps, has shared details on just what Twitter is exploring. Twitter's subscription service could be called Twitter Blue, and at the current time, it's priced at $2.99 per month. There will be a "Collections" section that allows users to save and...
magic mouse space gray discontinued

Apple Discontinuing Space Gray Mac Accessories Now That iMac Pro is Dead

Friday May 14, 2021 11:52 am PDT by
Following the discontinuation of the iMac Pro, Apple also appears to be discontinuing Space Gray "Magic" accessories that it sold separately alongside the iMac Pro. The iMac Pro was the only Space Gray Mac, and Apple designed special matching accessories for it. The Space Gray Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Trackpad all now say "While supplies last" in small wording at the bottom...
tile amazon sidewalk integration

Apple Says Tile Trackers Sold Poorly in Apple Stores

Friday May 14, 2021 4:53 am PDT by
Earlier last month, Spotify, Tile, and Match (owner of Tinder), testified at an app store antitrust hearing spearheaded by the U.S. Senate. During the hearing, Spotify called Apple's App Store "an abusive power grab," while Tile said Apple uses its platform to "unfairly limit competition for its products." Now, in response to their testimonies, Apple's vice president and chief compliance...
apple music change forever

Apple Music Teaser: 'Get Ready – Music is About to Change Forever'

Sunday May 16, 2021 2:39 pm PDT by
The Browse tab in the Music app across Apple's platforms has started displaying a prominent teaser hinting at an upcoming major announcement for Apple Music. Under the heading "Coming soon," the headline says "Get ready – music is about to change forever." An accompanying "Tune-In Video" simply shows an animated Apple Music logo. Rumors have indicated that Apple is preparing to launch a...
Top Stories 60 Feature

Top Stories: M1 iMac Benchmarks, iPhone Battery Life Tips, Colorful MacBook Air?

Saturday May 15, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Anticipation is building for the new iMac and iPad Pro models, which have started shipping out ahead of a launch around May 21. Benchmarks for the new machines are starting to come in, and the M1 chips inside of them are registering at around the same figures seen with other M1-based Macs, making for significant upgrades over previous-generation models. This week also saw some rumors about...
syng cell alpha

Longtime Apple Designer Christopher Stringer's Latest Project Is a High-Fidelity Speaker With AirPlay 2

Friday May 14, 2021 7:30 am PDT by
Christopher Stringer, a key member of Jony Ive's design team who spent 21 years at Apple before departing in 2017, is resurfacing today with his new venture Syng, which seeks to make an impact in the high-end audio market. Stringer, who contributed to many of the most iconic product designs in Apple's history, announced his plans roughly a year ago, and Syng is today introducing its flagship ...
google photos

PSA: Google Photos Unlimited Storage Ends Next Month, Here's How to Export Your Pictures to iCloud

Thursday May 13, 2021 5:26 am PDT by
For as long as it's existed, Google Photos has offered free unlimited storage for uploading images at a reduced yet good enough quality for most users. From June 1, 2021, however, all photos and videos uploaded to Google accounts will count against users' cloud storage. If you've been relying on Google to back up your media library, it may be time to move that content elsewhere. This article...