Apple Gives Millions of iPad, iPhone users Reasons to leave

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes


iPhone and iPad user were given a serious warning earlier this week a warning related to users’ security. The latest news we are getting from Apple itself may give users a reason to leave.

The news suggests that the App Store is seriously infested with fleeceware. Fleeceware are apps designed by hackers to scam users off their money. According to a senior Apple engineer, the App Store does not provide enough security which exposes both iPhone and iPad users to scams. Recent research by experts revealed that the security of Android is far better than that of iOS.

Apple and Epic Games have an on-going court case where some information was divulged from a new legal document released:

“A senior Apple engineer compared the defences of its App Store against harmful apps to “bringing a plastic butter knife to a gunfight”, as seen in the legal documents released on Thursday,” states the Financial Times. “The anecdote, which was cited by Fortnite maker Epic Games ahead of a high-stakes antitrust trial in California next month, was based on internal Apple documents quoting Eric Friedman, head of the company’s Fraud Engineering Algorithms and Risk (Fear) unit. 


Eric Friedman also Spoke on Apple’s process of assessing and adding new apps for the App Store, he likened his assessment process to be “more like the pretty lady who greets you at the Hawaiian airport than the drug-sniffing dog”. He also said that Apple was not well equipped to “deflect sophisticated attackers”.

Epic Games stand on these grounds to protest against the 30% fees Apple charges developers for the security it assumes the App Store provides. It was revealed in a report by cybersecurity company Avast  that the App Store contains almost twice the amount of fleeceware compared to Google’s Play Store and these fleeceware makes ten times the revenue from users: 

“In total, the team found 134 fleeceware apps on the App Store that have been downloaded a combined 500 million times. Sensor Tower estimates indicate that the apps have made $365 million in revenue. The same data indicates that 70 fleeceware apps on the Google Play Store… brought in $38.5 million in revenue.”

Friedman’s and Avast’s statements add wider context to tweets earlier this week by developer Kosta Elefherious, who argued it was easy for app makers to scale through App Store regulations and scam iPhone and iPad owners using Apple’s own in-app purchasing system. Elefherious reported fleeceware copies of his own apps entered the App Store multiple times and even tweeted a thread on “How to spot a $5M/year scam on the @AppStore, in 5 minutes flat”. 

For fleeceware developers, it takes almost nothing to scam users, all what is required is over shadowing the angry comments from victims by paying for thousands of fake positive reviews, then installing large number of misleading in-app purchase options which can cost thousands of dollars per year. When you tune into it, these fleeceware apps are remarkably easy to spot and even when reported to Apple, they remain live for months before Apple to bring them down. 

For years, Apple has boasted of its products’ and App Store’s superior greater security compared to that of its rivals and users are willing to benefit from it even if it requires paying the company’s premium. Drastic and swift changes need made on time else that era might come to an end.

Stay tuned to this site as more updates will come your way on this issue.

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