Source Code for Several Panic Apps Stolen via HandBrake Malware Attack


In early May, a mirror download server hosting popular Mac transcoder app HandBrake was hacked, and the legitimate version of HandBrake was replaced with a version infected with OSX.PROTON, a remote access trojan giving hackers root-access privileges to a Mac.

In a blog post shared today, Panic Inc. developer and co-founder Steven Frank said he downloaded the infected version of HandBrake, which led to the theft of much of the source code behind Panic’s apps. Panic offers several apps, including web editor Coda, FTP app Transmit, SSH client Prompt, and Firewatch, an adventure game.


Hackers accessed Frank’s computer through the infected HandBrake software and were able to obtain his usernames and passwords, including login information for Github. Several source code repositories were cloned by the attackers, who have demanded “a large bitcoin ransom” to stop the release of the source code, a ransom Panic does not intend to pay.

While Panic’s source code has been stolen, the company says that a careful review of its logs indicates that the theft was the extent of the damage – the hacker did not access customer information or Panic Sync Data.

– There’s no indication any customer information was obtained by the attacker.
– Furthermore, there’s no indication Panic Sync data was accessed.
– Finally, our web server was not compromised.

(As a reminder, we never store credit card numbers since we process them with Stripe, and all Panic Sync data is encrypted in such a way that even we can’t see it.)

According to Panic, the source code for the apps could potentially be used by hackers to create malware-infected builds of the company’s apps, so users should be vigilant and download Panic apps only from the company’s website or the Mac App Store.

Panic has been in contact with both the FBI and Apple. Apple’s security team is “standing by to quickly shut down any stolen/malware-infested versions” of Panic apps that are discovered, while the FBI is actively investigating the attack.

Panic is asking customers to notify the company of any unofficial or cracked versions of Panic apps that are discovered in the wild, as any such content is likely infected with malware.



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