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China and Taiwan hit by new iOS malware threat

A new malware threat has been discovered in the wild and is affecting iOS devices in China and Taiwan, according to cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks.

YiSpecter malware - as it's called - initially broke through Apple's software by parading as a free porn app and later on spread through other means such as the hijacking of traffic from national ISPs.

Once the malware has infiltrated the operating system, it can mess up a user's phone by installing unwanted apps and replacing legitimate apps. It disguises with the logos and names of legitimate apps and results in users not being able to manually delete the apps.

In addition, the malware can also force apps to display full-screen ads and change bookmarks and default search engines.The malware can also hide icons from iOS Springboard, the app that runs iOS' homescreen.

YiSpecter is said to have been active for around 10 months now and affects both jailbroken and non-jailbroken phones. Users are advised to download apps only from the App Store.

The news follows recent reports of a malware attack on the App Store through a corrupt version of Xcode known as XcodeGhost (opens in new tab), which was found in 39 different apps.

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