Apples developer website hacked

It remained unclear how much, if any, data was compromised or who the attackers were.

Apple's newly introduced iPad Mini and 4th generation iPad are seen during Apple's special event at the California Theatre in San Jose on October 23, 2012. Picture: AFP.

SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc.'s main website for developers remains shut after intruders tried to steal sensitive information last week, forcing the iPhone maker to overhaul its database and server software to prevent future breaches.

The intrusion last Thursday marked a rare cyber-attack on the US company's network and comes at a time when third-party developers are testing their apps on Apple's iOS 7 - a smartphone and tablet platform to be launched in the fall.

Apple's developer site also houses sensitive financial information, which is encrypted.

Apple said on Sunday no customer information had been compromised, but was unable to rule out the possibility that some developers' names, mailing addresses, and email addresses may have been accessed.

An Apple spokesman said the website that was breached was not associated with any customer information.

Apple would not comment on their identity.

"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," Apple told developers on its website.

"To prevent a security threat like this from happening again, we're completely overhauling our developer systems, updating our server software, and rebuilding our entire database," Apple said in a statement, adding that the developer website will be up and running soon.

The company also told developers that their membership, if set to expire, has been extended and all third-party apps will remain on Apple's app store for the duration.

Meanwhile, a United Nations group that advises nations on cybersecurity plans to send out an alert about significant vulnerabilities in mobile phone technology that could potentially enable hackers to remotely attack at least half a billion phones.The bug, discovered by German firm, allows hackers to remotely gain control of and also clone certain mobile SIM cards.

Hackers could use compromised SIMs to commit financial crimes or engage in electronic espionage, according to Berlin's Security Research Labs, which will describe the vulnerabilities at the Black Hat hacking conference that opens in Las Vegas on July 31.

The UN's Geneva-based International Telecommunications Union, which has reviewed the research, described it as hugely significant.

Notification would be send out to all telecommunications regulators and other government agencies in nearly 200 countries about the potential threat and also reach out to hundreds of mobile companies, academics and other industry experts.