So many people were affected by Xcodeghost

Do you remember Xcodeghost? It was a malicious program that in 2015 spread in an infernally ingenious way. The developers baked it into a copy of Apple’s developer tool Xcode, which was uploaded to fast servers around the world.

Links were shared on various developer forums and the program worked just as usual, except that compiled iOS apps were also provided with malicious code. Developers were attracted to download the program this way because Apple’s servers were slow and it could take hours to download Xcode from there.

Testimony during the trial between Apple and Epic now reveals how many were actually affected by Xcodeghost, reports 9 to 5 Mac. Dale Bagwell, who at the time had the title “iTunes customer experience manager”, wrote in an email that 128,000,000 users had downloaded one or more of the more than 2,500 infected apps that had time to appear on the App Store before the malware was discovered.

55 percent of affected users were in China, and accounted for 66 percent of the downloads. Around 18 million Americans were also affected. Among the apps that became infected were large, popular apps like Angry Birds 2 but above all Chinese giants like Wechat and Didi Chuxing.