As Apple gears up to launch its much anticipated iOS 7 in a couple of months, as well as its new Mavericks OS for Macs, it’s crunch time for developers as they hurry to get their apps and software ready for launch.
…Which is why now is the worst possible time for Apple’s Developer Center to get hacked. But that’s exactly what happened.
A Turkish security researcher named Ibrahim Balic has since taken responsibility for the attack, but he maintained that his intentions were not malicious. Rather, he said, he just wanted to show Apple that its system was leaking user information. He filed a bug report on July 19, the day the site was taken down.
Balic told reporters at the Guardian that he found 13 bugs in all and reported each one of them to Apple.
Apple made the announcement on its Developer site after it had been down for three days:
“Last Thursday, an intruder attempted to secure personal information of our registered developers from our developer website. Sensitive personal information was encrypted and cannot be accessed, however, we have not been able to rule out the possibility that some developers’ names, mailing addresses, and/or email addresses may have been accessed. In the spirit of transparency, we want to inform you of the issue.”
Apple assured its 270,000 third-party developers that the company has been working “around the clock” to completely overhaul its developer systems, update server software, and rebuild its entire database to prevent another attack in the future.
The company shut down the Developer Center last week with a notice informing users that it was down for maintenance. An Apple rep told TechCrunch that the company waited several days to reveal the security breach because it wanted to find out exactly what information was compromised.
The good news is that no iTunes accounts were affected. The hackers only targeted developer accounts. Additionally, no credit card data was compromised.
The bad news is that Apple doesn’t yet know when the Developer Center will return to normal.
“We apologize for the significant inconvenience that our downtime has caused you and we expect to have the developer website up again soon,” Apple said in a statement.
Several high profile companies have been the target of hacking attacks in the last couple of years. In March, Evernote was hacked, following attacks on Twitter, Facebook, Zendesk, and Microsoft, among others. Last February, Apple was targeted by hackers who infected some the Macs of some Apple employees. The same software was used to attack Facebook.
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