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Posted Date: 7/23/2013

Turkish Researcher Hacks Apple Developer Site

By George L. Koroneos, Editor
ISVs developing software for Apple's iOS and OSX platforms might have some cause for concern. Apple, on Sunday, revealed that its developer portal was hacked and approximately 275,000 developer contact information could have been accessed by a Turkish security research, Ibrahim Balic.

According to the Guardian, Balic accessed the portal to show Apple that the company is vulnerable to remote penetration. He reportedly sent the bugs to Apple to help them seal the leaks.

Apple's response is as follows:

"Last Thursday, an intruder attempted to secure personal information of our registered developers from our developer website. Sensitive personal information was encrypted and cannot be accessed, however, we have not been able to rule out the possibility that some developers’ names, mailing addresses, and/or email addresses may have been accessed. In the spirit of transparency, we want to inform you of the issue. We took the site down immediately on Thursday and have been working around the clock since then.

"In order to prevent a security threat like this from happening again, we’re completely overhauling our developer systems, updating our server software, and rebuilding our entire database. We apologize for the significant inconvenience that our downtime has caused you and we expect to have the developer website up again soon."

It's still unclear what this means for Apple ISVs. No one has revealed how much information, if any, was stolen. Some worry that Balic could have uploaded a virus to the portal, but that's a little more doubtful, especially since he outed himself for the hacking. Typically, hackers that publicly hack a major site are either doing it for notoriety or hope to get some sort of reward for their work. Others have engaged in a form of blackmail with companies, in which the hacker forces the company to pay in order to learn the source of the bugs.

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