Connecting to LinkedIn...



AdThief iOS Malware Infects 75,000 iPhones

22/08/2014 by


Yet another reason for iOS users not to jailbreak their handsets emerged this week after the release of a new report detailing AdThief – a relatively unheard of piece of Chinese malware already downloaded to 75,000 iPhones.

The malware, also known as Spad, works by hijacking advertising revenues and redirecting them to the attacker, according to a lengthy Virus Bulletin study by Fortinet researcher, Axelle Apvrille.

Each time user views or clicks on an ad, the corresponding application developer, partner or affiliate receives a small payment – what ad companies call “cost per thousand impressions” (CPM) or “click-through rate” (CTR), she explained.

Adkits identify developers, partners or affiliates with a developer ID, so that they can be credited when relevant ads are viewed or clicked.

“iOS/AdThief modifies this developer ID, replacing it with an identifier owned by the attacker. Revenues are consequently hijacked, with all of the revenue generated when an ad is viewed or clicked being assigned to the attacker’s identifier,” Apvrille continued.

“To modify the developer ID, the malware author implements a hook for each of the adkits he wants to hijack, where he replaces the developer ID as he wishes. To do so, he takes advantage of an existing process-hooking platform, Substrate, which is available on jailbroken devices.”

In this case the platform in question is a “Cydia Substrate” extension. “Cydia Substrate, which only works on jailbroken devices, is a platform for modifying existing processes,” explained Apvrille.

“It provides an API to hook the legitimate functions, and you can add your own tweaks. This is exactly what the malware does: it hooks various advertisement functions and modifies the developer ID (a.k.a. promotion ID) to match that of the attacker.”

This article has been extracted from, please click on this link to read the article in full

Montash is a multi-award winning, global technology recruitment firm. Specialising in permanent and contract positions across mid-senior appointments which cover a wide range of industry sectors and IT functions, including:

ERP, BI & Data, Information Security, IT Architecture & Strategy, Energy Technologies, Demand IT and Business Engagement, Digital and E-commerce, Infrastructure and Service Delivery, Project and Programme Delivery.

With offices based in London, Montash has completed assignments in over 30 countries and has appointed technical professionals from board level to senior and mid-management in permanent and contract roles.

comments powered by Disqus

Social Stream

Latest News


Humans remain largest security flaw in cloud ...

2016-10-21 14:00:00 +0100

With a vast number of companies moving some, if not all, of their operations to the cloud, security continues to be of major concern. Whilst there are numerous patches and firewalls to safeguard defences, it has been highlighted that the most difficult area to protect against is human interaction. This is the view of Jamie Woodruff, a penetration tester and ethical hacker. Woodruff’s views come after he was contracted to conduct a penetration test in or...


Offshore exploration providing boost for oil ...

2016-10-19 09:00:00 +0100

The oil and gas industry has had a notoriously challenging time of late, with the prices of oil plummeting and causing many firms to tighten their belts. However, offshore exploration is providing a much-needed bright spot for the sector, with an increasing number of governments becoming more accommodating. In the past week, it has been revealed that there are big changes afoot for Brazil’s petroleum laws. Shell has already begun to move on this opportu...