128 million iPhone users were affected by a botnet, reveal internal emails


According to ArsTechnica, in September 2015, Apple executives struggled as to whether publicly reveal that 128 million iPhone users were victims of a major hack. But we do know what the executives decided upon: to keep quiet. The company never publicly reported about the massive hack that compromised millions of users’ data.

Privacy on iPhone

The information about the massive hack was only unearthed during the trial between Epic Games and Apple. The proceedings revealed emails that contained the conversation between the top brass of the Cupertino based company about the hack. According to the emails, Apple executives had found 2,500 apps on the App Store that were malicious. As a result, 128 million iPhone users were affected by the apps and the apps were reportedly downloaded 203 million times.

128 million iPhone users were affected by a botnet, reveal internal emails

“Joz, Tom and Christine—due to the large number of customers potentially affected, do we want to send an email to all of them?” wrote App Store VP Matthew Fischer. He was referring to Apple’s Senior Vice President (SVP) of Worldwide Marketing Greg Joswiak and the company’s PR people Tom Neumayr and Christine Monaghan.

Massive hack affected iPhone users globally

The massive hack came under the microscope when researchers reportedly found around 40 apps on the App Store to be malicious. However, upon further research, the number was reportedly found to be much higher: around 4,000 apps were found to be malicious. The researchers had to check apps extensively to unearth many malicious apps.

The apps part of the massive hack reportedly contained code of a botnet that essentially stole user data. Out of the 128 million affected iPhone users, 18 million users were residents of the United States. The globally affected iPhone users outside of the US stands at 110 million.

In the emails, the Apple executives discussed disclosing the hack to the affected users through localized notifications. However, the company did not ofcourse.


Abhay Ram

Abhay Ram is a News Editor at iLounge. He has been writing about the Apple ecosystem and accessories since 2010. Abhay's work has been featured in various publications. When he's not writing about all things Apple, you can find him playing video games or enjoying a good cup of coffee.