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New Apple malware can infect your iPhone or Macbook via USB (update)

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China and Apple devices still aren't getting along super well, it turns out. WireLurker's a malware that's been attacking Cupertino's ecosystems in the region for the past six months, and according to cyber-security firm Palo Alto Networks (which discovered it), it's the biggest that's delivered via trojan-horse OS X apps. What's more, it's the first that can infect iOS applications like a traditional virus, and even auto-generates infected software. Some 467 apps have been infected and downloaded over 350,000 times, and could have affected "hundreds of thousands" of users. And here's where the regional issue comes into play: the malware is hosted on Maiyadi, a Chinese, third-party app store.

That isn't the only way for WIreLurker to attack, though -- it can gain access to iOS devices via USB as well, and even through a charger it seems. Oh, and you can infect an OS X device by connecting your iPhone or iPad via USB, too. Sounds fun, right? That isn't the half of it as once your device is compromised, WireLurker will snag your phonebook and read through any iMessages. The malware's ultimate goal, however, isn't clear just yet. Palo Alto Networks says to avoid it, don't connect to any unfamiliar devices (desktop or otherwise) to one another and avoid any strange chargers too. We can't imagine that Justin Long is super happy about any of this.

Update: We've been contacted by an Apple spokesperson with the following statement: "We are aware of malicious software available from a download site aimed at users in China, and we've blocked the identified apps to prevent them from launching. As always, we recommend that users download and install software from trusted sources."

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