Backdoor:IPhoneOS/YiSpecter

Classification

Malware

Backdoor

iPhoneOS

YiSpecter, MAC.IOS.YiSpecter.[variant]

Summary

The YiSpecter malware was publicly reported in early October 2015 and involves malicious iOS apps that abuse enterprise certificates and private APIs in the operating system to download and install other apps, display advertisements and upload device information to a remote server.

Removal

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Technical Details

The YiSpecter malware comprises of four components that are signed by legitimate iOS app enterprise certificates, allowing them to be installed even non-jailbroken devices. The malware is reportedly spread through multiple vectors, including via hijacked ISP traffic and as part of a worm's payload, as well as the most common one of manual download and installation from an unauthorized app store (in the beginning, by pretending to be an 'adult content video player' app).

Once one component is installed on a device, it can abuse undocumented or private APIs found in iOS to download the other components from a command and control server. The malware can download and install other apps, hijack other apps to display advertisements, change the search engine settings and upload device details to the remote server.

Apple has issued a statement indicating that the malware is only able to affect iOS versions 8.3 and older. They have also revoked the enterprise certificates used and reiterated advice that users only download apps from the authorized app store. Thus far, reports of the malware have been from China and Taiwan. For more information about the malware, see:

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