Apple's iCloud targeted in man-in-the-middle attack in China

Yahoo has also been facing a similar attack in China

Following the iPhone 6 launch in China, Apple's iCloud service began facing a "man-in-the-middle" style attack in the country, in an apparent attempt to steal username and password information, according to an anti-censorship watchdog group.

As of Monday, the attack was still ongoing, said GreatFire.org, which began noticing two days before that certain connections made to Apple's iCloud site in China were no longer responding with a trusted digital certificate, putting them at risk of decryption.

Man-in-the-middle attacks eavesdrop on communications by pretending to each party to be the one at the other end. The attacker will trick victims into believing they are visiting a site over a secure connection, when in fact all communications are being monitored.

"This is clearly a malicious attack on Apple in an effort to gain access to usernames and passwords and consequently all data stored on iCloud," wrote GreatFire.org in a Monday posting.

The group, which monitors China's censorship practices, alleges that government authorities are behind the attack. Other man-in-the-middle style attacks have hit Google, Microsoft and Github earlier this year in China, GreatFire.org added.

Yahoo was another recent victim. Since late September, connections made from China to the company's site have also been at risk, and vulnerable to eavesdropping. Such attacks are probably made so that Chinese authorities can monitor and block content users in the country are trying to access, said Swedish security firm Netresec, in a posting earlier this month.

Both Apple and Yahoo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple's iPhone 6 launched on Friday in mainland China, but not before government regulators demanded that security changes be made to the iOS software.

Months prior, Chinese state media alleged that the software could be used to secretly spy on iPhone users through its "Frequent Locations" feature. Apple later denied the claims.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags YahooApplesecurityinternetprivacy

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?