Tech Biz

Apple Hacked: Developer Center Taken Down for Security Overhaul

Intruders may have gained access to names, addresses – but not credit cards.

Apple’s Developer Center was taken offline last Thursday, with the company at first claiming extended site maintenance. It is now clear that the Development Center was taken down due to an intrusion by unknown hackers. The site remains down while Apple initiates a security overhaul, admitting that some developers’ personal information may have been compromised during the breach.

“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,” read the official statement from Apple, posted on its iOS Developer Center portal. The same text was also sent via email to developers.

“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,” the notice continued.

Apple promised swift action to correct any vulnerabilities in the Development Center, saying that it was “overhauling our developer systems, updating our server software, and rebuilding our entire database.” The tech giant also stated that any memberships that were set to expire during the downtime period have been extended and that affected apps will remain in the App Store.

Apple also said that the security breach was limited to developer accounts, with other Apple accounts and iTunes users being unaffected. Credit card data was encrypted, and thus has not been accessed. Unfortunately, there is no word on when the Development Center will reopen.

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“The Apple developer site – which allots access to iOS 7, OS X Mavericks and other development kits, helps developers allocate apps to beta testers, and also includes popular developer-only forums,” explained All Things D, noting that extended downtime is a rarity for the site.

While unlikely to affect ordinary users, the recent hack comes at a very bad time for Apple. The company is currently polishing its new operating systems –  iOS 7 for iPhone and iPad, as well as OSX Mavericks for Mac – both set for a fall release. Developers have been able to access beta versions of both ahead of their official release dates, and a shut-down Dev Center could slow progress for early-launch apps.