First-ever iPhone Trojan named GoldenPickaxe discovered – Learn How to Keep Your iOS Device Safe

iPhone trojan virus

One of the reasons why people prefer iPhones over Android is due to better security. If you take a closer look at security reports, you will find the history of tons of Android malware and viruses getting detected and causing damage. But there wasn’t any report of such for the iOS devices. Well, things could be changing because we now have the report of the first-ever iPhone Trojan.

The report comes from Group-IB, a Singapore-based cybersecurity company that specializes in the detection and prevention of cyberattacks. According to the report, the well-known Android Trojan named GoldDigger is now infecting iOS devices. The Trojan first surfaced back in October of last year, and now it has gained new capabilities and can attack both Android and iPhone.

More About the iPhone Trojan Named GoldenPickaxe

As mentioned earlier, GoldDigger’s new form has new capabilities to cause damage to the victims. Once this iPhone Trojan gets into your iOS device, it can collect facial recognition data. In addition, GoldPickaxe has the ability to intercept text messages and identify documents. All of this makes it easier for the attacker to drain funds from different banking apps and financial apps.

Group-IB GoldDigger timeline

To make things even worse, attackers can impersonate victims with it. The biometric data that this iPhone Trojan collects can create AI deep fakes, which will make it even easier to access bank accounts and get into financial apps.

Who is the iPhone Trojan Targeting?

At the moment, GoldPickaxe is currently targeting users in Thailand and Vietnam. It has the ability to mimic more than 50 different apps from different financial institutions. Now, even though you may not be in these two regions, you need to stay vigilant about this iPhone Trojan.

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As noted by Group-IB, GoldPickaxe iOS or Android Trojan and the previous versions are “in the active stage of evolution.” That means it may soon become capable of mimicking the banking apps that you’re using.

How Is It Being Distributed?

The iPhone Trojan was first found in the iOS TestFlight beta testing system. Apple was able to shut it down right after Group-IB reported about it. But that didn’t stop it from spreading. The latest version is currently being distributed through malicious MDM profiles.

As of now, there’s no word about whether it can spread through other distribution mechanisms. But if the Trojan evolves to the latter stage, the mechanisms may change.

Keeping yourself safe from iPhone trojan

How to Keep Your iPhone Protected From the iPhone Trojan

There are a couple of things that you can do to keep your iOS device safe from these attacks. For example:

  • Do not install any app from Apple TestFlight. If you need to install one, make sure that you trust the developer. It’s better to do a background check on the developer and check legitimacy before the installation.
  • Make sure not to install an MDM profile unless you trust the source. Verify the legitimacy and ensure that it’s coming from your workplace.
  • Never share personal or sensitive information through phone calls or video calls when an unknown party reaches you.
  • If you have concerns about your financial account, check through the official website. Don’t click on the links that come from unknown numbers or emails.
  • Ensure that your iPhone is running the latest iOS, and update all your apps to their latest version.

Malware tools

If you want to learn more about the iPhone Trojan, you can read the full post from Group-IB found in this link.

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