The apps include photo and video editors, wallpaper apps, horoscope apps, phone cleaners and fake antivirus apps, and similar products. The apps are not necessarily malware(opens in new tab), or viruses. They might not try to steal data, damage, or destroy the endpoint they’re infecting. But, they do try to incur extra costs for the victims (either via hidden fees, premium subscriptions, or other similar mechanisms), and are relatively hard to eliminate from the devices.
Over the past year, fraudulent iOS apps have made a tonne of money. According to a report from cybersecurity experts at VPN Check, dozens of harmful iOS apps are still available for download in Apple’s mobile app store months after they were uncovered. The business points out that in March 2021, the antivirus company Avast discovered 133 bogus apps and informed Apple of its findings. VPN Check claims that 84 of the apps are still operational more than a year after the first findings.
Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.
Overall, VPN Check says these apps are scamming users out of at least $100 million every year. At the same time, the company is laying the blame on Apple, saying that the company refuses to act swiftly and remove the malicious apps from the store. The Cupertino mobile giant, VPN Check argues, still gets its cut from the fraudulent earnings, and stands to lose an entire revenue stream if it moves swiftly.