Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) released a statement, on Sunday, saying that its website for third-party developers was hacked by “an intruder” recently to access personal information of the company’s registered developers, but maintained that customer information was not compromised.
The Dev Centers within Apple’s developer website have remained offline since Thursday and are currently being examined by the company.
“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,” a statement on Apple’s Dev Center page said.
“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.”
Apple said that in order to prevent future security threats, the company would completely overhaul its developer systems by updating its server software and rebuilding the entire database.
Tom Neumayr, an Apple spokesman, did not disclose how the company would improve the new system over the older one. But, he noted that no customer information was compromised.
“The website that was breached is not associated with any customer information,” AllThingsD quoted Neumayr as saying. “Additionally, customer information is securely encrypted.”
Social-networking and microblogging sites were flooded with comments from users over the weekend, saying that many of them had received password reset e-mails, suggesting that there was an attempt to gain unauthorized access to developers' Apple accounts.
While Apple did not clarify how many accounts might have been breached by the hacker, the possibility of a larger, behind-the-scene security concern cannot be ruled out as there are more than 300,000 registered developers currently working on creating software for the company’s iPhones, iPads, iPods and Mac computers.
Apple’s website for developers offers various documentation, testing tools, and preview versions of upcoming software, such as iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, to third-party developers who have signed a non-disclosure agreement with the company.
The site also allows developers to register devices and to submit applications for internal testing, and to manage developer certificates that are used to submit apps for sale through the company's App Store.
Apple, on its website, said that if any developers' memberships were set to expire during the three days that the website was down, the company would extend their memberships and their apps would remain in the App Store.