The percentage of enterprise iOS devices infected with malware tripled over the last two quarters as hackers respond to the growing popularity of the OS in the enterprise environment, according to Skycure.
The mobile security company’s latest Mobile Threat Intelligence report, covering the first quarter, also found that the number of iOS vulnerabilities patched during the quarter was higher than the total number of iOS vulnerabilities discovered in all of 2016.
Apple’s App Store is far more of a walled garden than Google Play, so it is rare to find infected applications on Apple’s store, the report finds.
This has led hackers to find more creative ways of infecting iOS devices, including using social engineering to trick enterprises into taking advantage of the method Apple allows for sideloading apps as part of its support for enterprises.
Other methods used for infecting enterprise iOS devices include leveraging OS vulnerabilities, taking advantage of jailbroken devices, bundling malicious apps with approved certificates and even leveraging the cable connector with malicious chargers or malware.
Finally, due to iOS devices’ popularity as a business traveller’s primary platform, another common threat vector is risky and malicious networks, such as man-in-the-middle exploits or simply misconfigured routers.
In a blog post, Skycure VP of marketing Varun Kohli said the findings put the lie to the historical perception that iOS is the ‘safe’ platform.
“There is a rich history of successful exploits against Apple’s mobile platform, and an increasing rate of exploits,” he said.
“Apple did, in fact, create a secure architecture in iOS, but as with any software, there will always be flaws, and the number of those flaws that are discovered has more to do with the intense effort of hackers than it does any deficiencies in the design.”
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