‫ Apple finally fixes App Store flaw by turning on encryption

ID: IRCNE2013031778
Date: 2013-03-09
 
According to "zdnet", apple has finally fixed a security flaw in its application store that for years has allowed attackers to steal passwords and install unwanted or extremely expensive applications.
The flaw arose because Apple neglected to use encryption when an iPhone or other mobile device tries to connect to the App Store, meaning an attacker can hijack the connection. In addition to a security flaw, the unencrypted connections also created a privacy vulnerability because the complete list of applications installed on the device are disclosed over Wi-Fi.
It also allows the installation of apps, including extremely expensive ones that top out at $999.99, without the user's consent, which can create serious consequences because Apple doesn't give refunds. To do this, an attacker needs to be on the same private or public Wi-Fi network, including, for example, a coffeeshop, hotel, or airport network.
Security researcher Elie Bursztein discovered the vulnerability and reported it to Apple last July. Apple fixed the problem in a recent update that said "content is now served over HTTPS by default." Apple also thanked Bernhard Brehm of Recurity Labs and Rahul Iyer of Bejoi.
Bursztein, who works at Google, in Mountain View, Calif., but emphasized this was work done at home in his spare time, published a personal blog post today that described details about the App Store vulnerability and included videos of how an attacker was able to steal passwords or install unwanted apps.
Publicizing this flaw, Bursztein said, highlighted how necessary encrypted HTTPS connections were. "Many companies don't realize that HTTPS is important for mobile apps," he said.
 

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