Hello again:

As you may have heard, over 4,000 IOS apps for iPhone and iPad were hacked on the Apple App Store -- far beyond the short list that Apple posted last week. A complete list of infected apps is not available and the total may be higher. Apple continues their no-response strategy, only encouraging developers to update their apps. No tool is available to figure out if your iPhone / iPad has an infected app, for example, except for a very sketchy app from a company called Pangu in China -- that could easily be a hoax containing more malware.

Users have been left high and dry. So, here are the current recommendations:

(1) Update all of your apps ASAP and try to update them again every couple of days through the coming week. Start with any app that has a login / password, especially if it is linked to financial transactions.

(2) If you are linked to a corporate network and send/receive confidential information, a more extreme approach is a good idea -- reset your iPhone / iPad to "Factory Settings", which erases all of the apps and data. Be sure to backup photos, music and documents first, of course. Here are the directions: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201252

(3) Change all of your logins and passwords, including your Apple ID password. Here is how:

This is a good reminder that you should never use your smart phone for purchases, online banking, confidential data, etc. Phones and their data links are simply too easy to hack.

If you are wondering how so many apps were hacked, these cybercriminals apparently took a tip from the CIA. They planted their code in a modified version of an Apple software development tool -- then distributed copies labeled as though it came from Apple. Any IOS app compiled with their modified version will include the hacker's malware. Very smart! They didn't have to infect one phone after another; they targeted IOS app developers.

Let me know if you have any questions: MarkAllenHays@Gmail.com