New iOS Threat: How to Keep Your Device Safe from Phony Apps in Masque Attack

Yesterday we began hearing about a new threat to the Apple mobile operating system called Masque Attack. Security company FireEye first identified this new threat to the Apple iOS. Essentially, this malware substitutes a malicious app for a genuine app on your iPhone or iPad. This bad app can then gather and send sensitive information such as login or password information to the attacker. There is little chance you’ll be affected, but here’s a summary of what you need to know.

The infection process begins when an iOS device user downloads and installs an app that did not originate from the official Apple App Store. So to protect yourself from this threat, only install apps through the App Store. Don’t install any apps from a web page pop-up or text message. Be suspicious of links that offer to install apps or app updates if those links don’t take you to the Apple App Store.

You can check links on your computer by hovering over the link with the mouse pointer and looking for the destination in the status bar of your browser. Look in lower left corner of the browser window while pointing at the link. You’ll see the URL (web address) of the link destination. On your iPad or iPhone, touch and hold on the link to reveal a window where you’ll find the destination of the URL. From there you can choose to open the link or cancel the jump to the URL if you have doubts. If you have doubts, tap anywhere outside the pop-up window to close it.

Here’s a sample article link from my iPad Academy website.

Checking a Link on iPad

About Andy Brovey

Dr. Andy Brovey, The Portable Prof, has over 30 years experience in educational technology, including teaching, administration and professional development. In 2007, Apple Inc. recognized his work and named him an Apple Distinguished Educator. Andy now runs a professional development business, working on site and online to help others make sense and make use of digital tools. He started this iPad Academy website shortly after the first iPad went on sale to help others become more comfortable and competent with the iPad, in person and online. Click Here for Video Lessons