iPhone Dev SDK: We Learned from the Press That We Were Hacked

Experts analyze the watering hole attack launched against Facebook, Twitter and Apple

Over the past weeks, several companies, including Facebook, Apple and Twitter reported being hacked. Despite the fact that they initially denied any involvement, the owners of the iPhone Dev SDK developer forum have admitted that their systems were in fact compromised and used to host a Java exploit.

However, iPhone Dev SDK says it learned of the incident from the press, not Facebook or other company.

“We were alerted through the press, via an AllThingsD article, which cited Facebook. Prior to this article, we had no knowledge of this breach and hadn't been contacted by Facebook, any other company, or any law enforcement about the potential breach,” the forum’s representatives explained.

“Immediately, we were in contact with Facebook's security team, including Joe Sullivan, Facebook's Chief Security Officer, and his team, to learn what they knew. We also contacted Vanilla, our amazing forum hosts, to ensure the problem was not with their software,” they added.

“What we've learned is that it appears a single administrator account was compromised. The hackers used this account to modify our theme and inject JavaScript into our site. That JavaScript appears to have used a sophisticated, previously unknown exploit to hack into certain user's computers.”

iPhone Dev SDK is still trying to determine when the breach occurred, but they say it “was ended by the hacker” on January 30, 2013.

Security researcher Eric Romang has also analyzed this watering hole attack and has found that iphonedevsdk.com has been compromised as early as January 15.

In addition, one other domain involved in the attacks against Facebook, Twitter and Apple was registered back in March 2012. The domain in question has been referenced on several forums since then.

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