New Delhi, Nov 18: Cyber security sleuths have alerted users of 'Apple' iphones and ipads against a lurking "masque attack" on their devices that could compromise gadget safety and steal sensitive private information.
In its latest advisory to the users, the Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In) said, a vulnerability has been reported in Apple iOS which allows any iOS application that is installed using enterprise or ad-hoc provisioning to replace any legitimate iOS application installed through the App Store with any other malicious application.
"This attack is also known as 'Masque Attack' technique against Apple iOS. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow remote attacker to steal sensitive information from the device, monitor user activities, gain root privileges on the device and launch further attacks," the CERT-In advisory said.
The CERT-In is the nodal agency to combat hacking, phishing and to strengthen security-related defences of the Indian Internet domain. The iOS is the backbone of all operations and apps in various Apple gadgets like iphones, tabs and ipads.
Apple has already asked users to download applications and other information from trusted sources only. This vulnerability, the agency said, is caused due to iOS not properly enforcing and matching of certificates for apps (applications) with the same identifier.
"A remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability by tricking the victim into installing an application from a source other than the iOS App store or their organisations provisioning system. Attacker could then utilise this application to replace other legitimately installed applications, except iOS preinstalled applications, with any malicious application that uses the bundle identifier of the legitimate application thus bypassing the App Store review process," it said.
The agency called it a "high" rated threat and said it could affect various versions of the Apple iOS. The cyber security agency has also suggested some counter-measures in this regard.
"Don't install apps from third-party sources other than Apple's official App Store or your own organisation, don't click 'install' on a pop up from a third-party web page, carefully read iOS notification while opening applications and if iOS shows an 'untrusted App Developer' alert click on 'don't trust' and uninstall the application immediately," it recommended.