Monday, June 14, 2021 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Reporting App Store Scams

Tim Hardwick (Hacker News):

Apple has used its app review process as a bulwark in recent legal assaults on its App Store policy, and put particular emphasis on the security benefits for iOS users when buying apps. However, an investigation has found that almost 2% of the top 1,000 highest grossing apps on a given day were some sort of scam.

According to The Washington Post, which conducted the investigation, scam apps have been “hiding in plain sight” in Apple’s App Store, including several VPN apps that duped users into paying for software they didn’t need, a QR code reader that asked users for a $5 weekly subscription for a feature that’s already built into Apple’s native Camera app, and some apps that fraudulently appropriated the branding of Amazon and Samsung.

It would be interesting to know how that compares with the Google Play Store. Given that most of the revenue comes from a small fraction of the apps, you’d think that the highest grossing ones could be especially well vetted. Instead, as Kosta Eleftheriou has reported, looking at the top charts seems to be a good way of finding scams.

Apple (Reddit):

In addition, two updates have been made to the App Review contact form. If you appeal an app rejection, you can now specify if you believe your app was rejected due to unfair treatment (including political or other bias). And you can now report an app if you believe it presents a trust or safety concern, or is in violation of the App Store Review Guidelines.

Francisco Tolmasky:

Imagine if a city that bragged about having the best police force on Earth waited 14 years before begrudgingly agreeing to set up a 911 line so that citizens could actually call the police

Tanner Bennett:

Users still cannot report apps though. Gotta cough up $100 to contact the app review team here.

Francisco Tolmasky:

Does this make Apple the first company to implement a reverse bug bounty, where you have to PAY to report vulnerabilities?

Previously:

1 Comment

>Imagine if a city that bragged about having the best police force on Earth waited 14 years before begrudgingly agreeing to set up a 911 line so that citizens could actually call the policeā€¦

Not entirely true, Apple had a Report a Problem in the early days of App Store, I believe it was taken away in iOS 7.

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