Several weeks ago we reported on the true risks of installing apps outside of the App Store since the increase in sites such as pgyer, many laughed it off some took it seriously and others probably just ignored it however, a malware campaign known in the security industry as “Operation Pawn
Storm has begun to target Apples iOS
devices with a new malicious
application that can steal photos, text
messages, contacts, and other data
from non-jailbroken iPhones.

Dubbed XAgent by security firm Trend
Micro, the new spyware has been
observed using Apples ad-hoc
provisioning system like the ones used in sites like to infect iOS devices. The good news is that it cannot be installed without users’ consent, however, as this functionality is intended for enterprises and developers who wish to distribute apps to a small group of individuals and allows users to bypass the App Store, which since iOS 8 we have seen an increase in this trend with the likes of people wanting Cartoonhd, Playboxhd and Moviebox all for free.

Operation Pawn Storm is thought
to target specific individuals by infecting those around them in the hope that they will pass on the installation instructions received from their circle of friends or colleagues will be more readily followed.

It is thought that XAgent was designed pre iOS 8 because iOS 8 users would be forced to manually open the app if it closed or the device was restarted, but once installed on devices running iOS 7, XAgent runs without an app icon and is capable of automatically restarting itself