O'Grady's PowerPage » security

Instagram changes APIs, feed access to third-party apps following discovery of malware

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 18th, 2015, 07:45
Category: Developer, iOS, News, security, Software


In the wake of a security breach, you make changes.

Following the recent discovery of the InstaAgent malware, which was Instagram passwords from users, Instagram has instituted much stricter rules for accessing its API, effectively killing off a large number of apps that read Instagram feeds.

Over on its developer web site, Instagram explained that its API is changing, the way it distributes its feed is changing and the current API is being shut down. The company offered the following comment:

We’ve updated our Platform Policy to explicitly list the use cases we will support moving forward. These include apps and services that:

Help individuals share their own content with 3rd party apps, such as apps that let you print your photos and import an Instagram photo as a profile picture.

Help brands and advertisers understand and manage their audience, develop their content strategy, and get digital rights to media. Established apps in this space may apply for our newly announced Instagram Partner Program.

Help broadcasters and publishers discover content, get digital rights to media, and share media using web embeds.


Apple, Google remove InstaAgent app after password-stealing malware detected

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, November 12th, 2015, 12:19
Category: Android, iOS, News, security, Software


This is the joy of the war against malware.

Both Apple and Google have removed the InstaAgent app from their respective app stores after it was discovered that the app was storing users’ Instagram usernames and passwords in an unencrypted form, before sending them on to unknown servers.

InstaAgent, which tied in with Instagram, had become a popular download in the App Store’s free software section.


Security firm FireEye reports updated XcodeGhost loose in the wild, possibly infecting genuine iOS apps with malware

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 4th, 2015, 08:23
Category: iOS, News, security, Software


The XcodeGhost thing may have reared its ugly head again, this time in a different form.

Security firm FireEye stated via a blog post that a variant of the XcodeGhost code, which has been known to inject malware into genuine apps, is still out there. The firm stated that it has identified a more advanced version of the compromised app development tool, XcodeGhost S, which has been designed to infect iOS 9 apps and allow compromised apps to escape detection by Apple.

The company offered the following statement:

XcodeGhost is planted in different versions of Xcode, including Xcode 7 (released for iOS 9 development). In the latest version, which we call XcodeGhost S, features have been added to infect iOS 9 and bypass static detection.

We have worked with Apple to have all XcodeGhost and XcodeGhost samples we have detected removed from the App Store.


Apple cites that it’s “impossible” to unlock iPhones running iOS 8 or later for authorities

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 23rd, 2015, 13:41
Category: iOS, iPhone, Legal, News, privacy, security, Software


The legal/encryption squabble continues.

On Wednesday, Apple, representing itself in a New York court, took sides regarding backdoor access to iPhone encryption and stated that the company could not unlock iPhones running iOS 8 or higher even if it wanted to.

Apple called the request to access an encrypted iPhone “impossible to perform” on more than 90 percent of devices running iOS 8 and up.


Apple posts guide to activating, deactivating Private Browsing in iOS 9

Posted by:
Date: Monday, September 28th, 2015, 08:45
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, security, Software


This could come in handy.

Recently, Apple posted full instructions as to how to activate and deactivate Private Browsing in iOS 9. Private Browsing mode protects your private information and blocks some websites from tracking your behavior. Safari won’t remember the pages you visit, your search history, or your AutoFill information.


Apple to begin providing better Xcode development tool hosting for Chinese developers in wake of XcodeGhost incident

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 24th, 2015, 07:22
Category: Developer, News, security, Software


In the wake of developers downloading a malware-filled copy of your development tools and inadvertently uploading tons of malware-filled apps to the App Store, it helps to put some money into infrastructure and make sure the slow download speeds for the genuine version of the development tools are sufficient, thus removing the need to download the fake version in the first place.

Apple’s Phil Schiller, the company’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said on Tuesday that steps are being taken to prevent any such occurrence of the conditions that caused the XcodeGhost issue in the future.

The source of the tainted apps was a program called XcodeGhost, a counterfeit version of Xcode, the platform used by developers to create programs for iOS and Mac. Developers in China often download Xcode from local sites due to the slow download speeds associated with sourcing it officially from Apple’s US servers. The spurious version of Xcode was slipped in amongst the authentic ones on Chinese sites and downloaded by many programmers, unbeknownst to them.


XcodeGhost malware affecting hundreds of iOS apps, Apple pulling infected versions from App Store

Posted by:
Date: Monday, September 21st, 2015, 07:06
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, News, security, Software


This is where things get a bit messier.

Apple has admitted that it is App Store integrity was compromised as apps were secretly infected by fake Xcode tools before submission to the App Store. The company has now officially acknowledged the problem and is now removing apps affected by the malware from the App Store.

Developers were inadvertently submitting malware by using counterfeit versions of Xcode, Apple’s development software, to submit apps. The fake Xcode, dubbed XcodeGhost, would inject malicious code into otherwise-legitimate apps during the submission process.

The malware seems to have infected hundreds of apps on the App Store, Apple releasing the following statement:


Palo Alto Networks cites XcodeGhost malware’s presence in 39 iOS apps

Posted by:
Date: Monday, September 21st, 2015, 07:47
Category: iOS, News, security, Software


Well, this is kind of a mess.

Research associate Palo Alto Networks has posted an analysis on a novel malware XcodeGhost that modifies Xcode IDE to infect Apple iOS apps. The report mentions that at least two popular iOS apps were infected. We now believe many more popular iOS apps have been infected, including WeChat, one of the most popular IM applications in the world.

The malware itself seems to stem from the fact that some iOS developers use crowd-sourcing techniques which adds to their apps being more vulnerable.

As last count, roughly 39 iOS apps were infected, some of which are extremely popular in China and in other countries around the world, comprising hundreds of millions users.


Vulnerabilities noted for several models of Seagate external drives, patch offered

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 8th, 2015, 07:51
Category: hard drive, Hardware, News, security


If you’re using a Seagate external hard drive, you may want to be aware of both the security risks present on the drive as well as the patch that was just released to fix the vulnerability.

A series of vulnerabilities primarily affect owners of Seagate Wireless Plus Mobile Storage, Seagate Wireless Mobile Storage, and LaCie Fuel devices purchased since October 2014.

Tangible Security, the firm that discovered the flaws, has stated that other Seagate products may be affected as well.

The worst flaw is thanks to a hard-coded username and password that gives an attacker access to an undocumented Telnet service. Telnet is a command line method of logging into one computer from another over the Internet or a local network.


KeyRaider malware steals credential information for 225,000+ jailbroken iOS devices

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 1st, 2015, 04:07
Category: iOS, News, security, Software


The bad news is that more than 225,000 Apple IDs and passwords were taken from assorted iPhones via a chunk of malware dubbed “KeyRaider”, which can also remotely lock iOS devices in order to hold them to ransom.

The good news is that this only occurred with jailbroken iOS devices and probably didn’t happen to you.

According to reports, the KeyRaider software will hijack app purchase requests, download stolen accounts or purchase receipts from the C2 server, then emulate the iTunes protocol to log in to Apple’s server and purchase apps or other items requested by users. The tweaks have been downloaded over 20,000 times, which suggests around 20,000 users are abusing the 225,000 stolen credentials.