Masque Attacks Can Destroy Your iPhone Apps Completely

14 July 2015

Birmingham: Today, in the world of cyber criminals, almost one third of all the iPhones and iPads are vulnerable to attacks which could allow the hackers to steal your most sensitive data, hijack network connections or destroy the apps completely. A few months back, Apple reacted to the reports of a serious security flaw saying that the company was not about the vulnerability. Later, a security company called FireEye revealed a fact that there are two kinds of Masque attacks targeting iOS. Apple has already patched the flaws partially and still one third of iOS devices are at risk.

So with the Masque attacks, the attackers are taking the advantage of the fact that the company doesn’t enforce matching certificates for the apps with same bundle identifier. So a victim who clicks on a link to update the app will actually download a piece of malware which looks like an app. Recently, a new flaw called Masque extension was revealed by FireEye. This flaw lets a hacker to access the data container of the targeted app; i.e. the data which you thought to be secured is actually vulnerable.

Here are the three main Masque attacks:

  1. Masque Extension: As said above, it is an attack which allows hacker to access the data container of the targeted app. It actually exploits the advantage of introduction of app extension to iOS 8 that can be installed together with the app. The app extension can execute the code but it’s restricted to access the data container. But a malicious app extension allows the attacker to access the data container fully. An attacker can attract the victim to install and enable malicious in-house app extension by using enterprise provisioning from a website.
  2. Manifest Masque: The second new attack is named as Manifest Masque and it allows a hacker to destroy the existing iOS app completely using enterprise provisioning of a website which means that even the core apps like Apple Pay, Watch or health are also vulnerable. FireEye notified about the threat to Apple and it also says that the flaw has been partially patched with the iOS 8.4 which was launched recently. 
  3. Plugin Masque: Plugin Masque is yet another attack revealed by FireEye which is said to be patched with iOS 8.1.3.However if the attack is exploited, it could be more harmful than the attacks mentioned above. Plugin Masque attack allows the attacker to replace the VPN plugin and monitor all the network traffic. If a malicious VPN plugin (having the same bundle ID as the legitimate VPN plugin) is embedded into an in-house application, the malicious plugin can replace the legitimate plugin successfully without any entitlement.

Being a top-tier iPhone app development company in Birmingham, Fortune Innovations provides both onsite and offshore iOS app development to the clients across the globe. So, if you are thinking to hire iOS developers in Birmingham, just let us know your requirements. Our team will get back to you at the earliest with an ideal and affordable solution.

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