Apple’s developer site is unavailable for software engineers after a hacker tried to steal personal information, the company said.
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) took the website, used by programmers who write applications for iPhones, Macs and other products, offline on July 18 in order to fix the issue, the company said in a statement posted on the Internet.
Developers who use the site for software downloads, documentation and engineering information could face delays in introducing their own products. Some of the information is encrypted and Apple hasn’t been able to rule out whether names, mailing addresses or e-mail addresses may have been accessed, the company said.
“Having your partners get breached in a hacking attempt is a serious loss of trust for developers,” Frank Yu, Beijing- based chief executive officer of app developer Kwestr, said in an e-mail today. “Apple has responded well to allay those fears.”
Apple said it would extend memberships for any users if their accounts were due to expire while the website is offline. The Cupertino, California-based maker of iPhones and iPads said to prevent a security threat like this from happening again it’s “completely overhauling” its developer systems.
“This event shows that our private information and our developer account may be leaked,” said Cui Tong, a Beijing- based iOS developer who works for photo-sharing app PaPa. “I hope Apple will spend more time and resources on security to protect our private information.”
The Pentagon cleared Apple devices for use on its networks in May, approving the use of government-issued Apple products running a version of the iOS 6 mobile platform. Some Samsung Electronics Co. and BlackBerry products are also approved for for military sales.
The approval demonstrates Apple’s “commitment to deliver a secure platform to our enterprise and government customers,” the company said at the time.
Apple Buys Two Startups
In other news, Apple has bought online mapping services HopStop and Locationary as part of its ongoing effort to create a more formidable alternative to Google’s navigation system.
The acquisitions confirmed Friday give Apple Inc. more tools to round out the maps that it embeds in the mobile operating system running its iPhones and iPads. Apple relied on Google Inc. for the built-in maps on those devices until switching to its own system last year.
The switch turned into an embarrassment for Apple when iPhone and iPad users discovered the maps sometimes gave faulty directions and misplaced famous landmarks. Apple CEO Tim Cook ended up apologizing for the gaffes, and recommended iPhone and iPad users rely on Google’s maps until improvements could be made.
When Google released a new mapping app for the iPhone late last year, it quickly became one of the most downloaded programs for the device. Google’s maps are also widely used on mobile devices running on that company’s Android software, as well as through Web browsers on personal computers.
Apple, which is based in Cupertino, Calif., isn’t saying how it plans to deploy its latest acquisition.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” company spokesman Kristin Huguet said.
New York-based HopStop provides directions to major transit systems and biking routes, popular features on Google’s maps.
Locationary, which is based in Toronto, collects and analyzes data to help create more precise maps.
Terms of the acquisitions weren’t disclosed.
Google paid $1.03 billion last month to buy an Israel startup called Waze that relies on social networking to monitor local traffic conditions.