CHINA'S Beijing Bureau of Public Security has arrested three people on suspicion of promulgating the WireLurker Mac and iOS malware code that affected local users in recent weeks.
WireLurker has been active for at least six months, according to security firm Palo Alto Networks, and makes its way onto Apple machines through spiked application download sites and tainted PCs and USB connectors.
"WireLurker is capable of stealing a variety of information from the mobile devices it infects and regularly requests updates from the attackers command and control server," said Palo Alto.
"This malware is under active development and its creator's ultimate goal is not yet clear."
The goal may be about to become clear as the BBC reports that three men have been arrested in China named only as Chen, Lee and Wang.
Their arrest was announced on the local social networking site Weibo, and we have translated the statement.
It says, and we will spare you the garbled translation, that the three conspired to create the malware in order to profit from it, and that they uploaded it to third-party sites in order to spread it.
The site to which the malware was uploaded has been shut down.
We asked Apple whether it wanted to comment on this news. Earlier when we asked about the Masque malware Apple pointed us to advice about authenticating downloads and suggested that even the most secure users tread carefully.
"We designed OS X and iOS with built-in security safeguards to help protect customers and warn them before installing potentially malicious software. We're not aware of any customers that have actually been affected by this attack," it said.
"We encourage customers to only download from trusted sources like the App Store and to pay attention to any warnings as they download apps. Enterprise users installing custom apps should install apps from their company's secure website." µ
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