Attackers have long targeted application vulnerabilities in order to breach systems and steal data, but recently they’ve been skipping a step and going directly after the tools developers use to actually build those applications.
Strategist with IT risk management firm CBI, J. Wolfgang Goerlich, explains why the recent spate of attacks on Apple’s development tools are notable. “The number of OS X computers continues to raise in the enterprise environment. Few organizations are considering Macs from a security perspective as the numbers have long been small and most security controls are Windows-based,” he says.
“These types of attacks – infecting the compiler – used to be considered a potential threat by high security governmental organizations. You would be considered paranoid to present such a scenario as something that could impact the general public. And yet here we are,” says Yossi Naar, co-founder of Cybereason, a provider of breach detection software.
If these types of two-stage attacks are no longer threats only to the paranoid, and enterprise development environments are targeted, what does this mean for enterprises trying to ensure they are developing and deploying secure applications.
“From a development perspective, the best practices in continuous integration and deployment would have prevented the attack against Apple’s App Store,” says Goerlich.