Users on a mobile phone hacking subreddit are being credited with the discovery of a malware infection targeting iOS users.
The r/jailbreak community uncovered the infection while assisting a user who had been noticing unusual activity on his jailbroken iPhone.
Known as 'Unflod Baby Panda', the infection targets jailbroken iOS handsets and is believed to be spreading through Chinese iOS software sites. According to researchers at German security firm SektionEins, the malware listens in to SSL traffic on the infected handsets and looks to steal Apple ID information.
The researchers believe that the stolen credentials are being sent to servers which are controlled by individuals in China.
While manual removal of the malware is possible, SektionEins notes that Unflod Baby Panda could be putting additional files on infected handsets which have yet to be discovered.
"Currently the jailbreak community believes that deleting the Unfold.dylib binary and changing the apple-id's password afterwards is enough to recover from this attack. However it is still unknown how the dynamic library ends up on the device in the first place and therefore it is also unknown if it comes with additional malware gifts," the researchers wrote in an analysis of the infection.
"We therefore believe that the only safe way of removal is a full restore, which means the removal and loss of the jailbreak."
Because the malware requires the victim's handset to be jailbroken in order to be installed, most iPhone owners are not vulnerable to the infection. The malware has not been spotted on any apps offered through the Apple iOS App Store.
Malware on iOS devices has largely been a non-issue, thanks to Apple's tight control of the App Store approval process, which lets the company spot and disable potential malware threats. Users who jailbreak their handsets, however, do run the risk of infection should they install software from untrusted sources. ®