Protect Your iPhone from iOS Malware YiSpecter

Following last week’s XcodeGhost scare, the malicious malware YiSpecter was recently identified by cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks. Most of the affected users are located in China and Taiwan; however, YiSpecter is a unique malware in that it’s abusing private APIs and, according to Palo Alto, “pushes the line barrier of iOS security back another step".

YiSpecter is capable of replacing existing apps with its own, using other apps to display full screen advertisements, changing Safari bookmarks and opened pages, and uploading information to an outside server when infecting an iOS device. The malware is successful on iPhones whether they’re jailbroken or not and reappears when manually deleted.

The malware was first downloaded via an app promising free porn but quickly spread to more phones via hijacked traffic from internet service providers and online communities where developers pay users to test apps. Palo Alto Networks recommends protecting your device by only downloading from trusted, known developers and the official App Store.  

If you believe your device has been infected by YiSpector, follow these steps from the Palo Alto Networks to remove it:

  1. In iOS, go to Settings > General > Profiles to remove all unknown or untrusted profiles.

  2. If there’s any installed apps named “情涩播放器”, “快播私密版” or “快播0”, delete them.

  3. Use any third-party iOS management tool (e.g., iFunBox, though note that Apple’s iTunes doesn’t work in this step) on Windows or Mac OS X, to connect with your iPhone or iPad.

  4. In the management tool, check all installed iOS apps; if there’re some apps that have names like Phone, Weather, Game Center, Passbook, Notes, or Cydia, delete them. (Note that this step won’t affect original system apps but just delete faked malware.)


Top Image Credit: Denys Prykhodov /

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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.