Vulnerabilities Fixed in App Store Almost After A Year
It is being reported that Apple has ignored its network's security for more than a year. A problem that a Google developer has pointed out.
Google Researcher, Elie Bursztein has stated on this blog that he had informed Apple of the security problems present in App Store that allowed attackers to steal passwords and/or install unwanted or expensive applications.
This was done by exploiting Apple's resistance to use encryptions when any iDevice logged into App Store. This allowed the attacker to intercept communication occurring between an online user's device and App Store and insert his own commands into the system.
The vulnerability could be exploited to carry out quite a few attacks on the user according to Elie:
- Password stealing: Trick the user into disclosing his or her password by using the application update notification mechanism to insert a fake prompt when the App Store is launched.
- App swapping: Force the user to install/buy the attacker’s app of choice instead of the one the user intended to install/buy. It is possible to swap a free app with a paid app.
- App fake upgrade: Trick the user into installing/buying the attacker’s app of choice by inserting fake app upgrades, or manipulating existing app upgrades.
- Preventing application installation: Prevent the user from installing/upgrading applications either by stripping the app out of the market or tricking the app into believing it is already installed.
- Privacy leak: The App Store application update mechanism discloses in the clear the list of the applications installed on the device.
Apple responded to Elie's reports by switching on HTTPS for App Store only last week after a year of stalling appropriate decisions.
About the Author:
This article has been written by Dr. Sindhia Javed Junejo. She is one of the core members of RHA team.