The App Store – Apple's proprietary app distribution centre – has suffered its first ever large-scale cyber attack in China, with many apps thought to have been infected with malware.
Users of the iPad and iPhone can rest assured Apple took swift action to remedy the situation, ensuring that users should be safe from attack.
The hackers created a counterfeit version of Apple's software for building iOS apps, which they convinced developers to use.
Most of the infected apps – including Tencent's WeChat app, NetEase's music downloading service and Didi Kuaidi's Uber-like car hailing app – are only available in China.
Tencent assured its users that the security issue affected an older version of its app – and that newer ones remain secure. Furthermore, no data theft or leakage of user information had taken place.
Cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks analysed the malware, which is dubbed XcodeGhost, and said the perpetrators may have been able to send fake notifications to users in an effort to trick their owners into revealing information.
Apple spokeswoman Christine Monaghan said the offending apps have been taken down, and the developers being supported in remedying the situation.
“We've removed the apps from the App Store that we know have been created with this counterfeit software. We are working with the developers to make sure they're using the proper version of Xcode to rebuild their apps,” she commented.