WireLurker: How Worried Should Apple Users Be?


Apple users should be aware that no technology is 100% secure.

November 17, 2014 • Published by


Are Apple Users at Risk?

Users of Apple’s iOS (smartphone and tablet) and OS X (Mac) devices have traditionally thought of themselves as being fairly immune from viruses, Trojans and other infections and attacks. The past week’s flurry of articles on WireLurker (and the related Masque attack) called that assumption into question for many, however. Of course many of the articles adopted a very sensationalist tone, yet the question remains: How worried should you be?

You’re very unlikely to get hit with WireLurker itself, but it represents a new breed of malware with some fairly scary capabilities. You can see a very interesting demo of the Masque attack on YouTube.

Take Common Sense Precautions

Apple users—especially those that use their devices to process, store, or transmit payment card data—should be aware that no technology is 100% secure and always take common sense precautions:

  • Never jailbreak your phone or disable built-in security mechanisms in OS X—especially if you’re using it to take card payments—because in doing so, you lose native protections that Apple has provided.
  • Don’t download or install an application on your phone unless it’s through the Apple App Store; Apple vets every product offered through their store.
  • Do not respond with “Trust” anytime your operating system identifies an application as being from an “Untrusted App Developer” and asks you if it should proceed.

Does your business use a mobile device to take credit/debit card payments?

Check out “5 Steps Before Using a Mobile Device Before Accepting Credit Cards.

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