- Apple removed 18 harmful apps from the App Store on Friday.
- All of the apps were published by developer AppAspect Technologies, and contained adware, which can open links or webpages in the background and click them without the user’s knowledge.
- At least 10 of the apps are still available in the GooglePlay Store. They were previously found to be infected and removed, and there is no evidence that the reuploaded apps have malware.
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Apple removed 18 apps from the App Store on Friday for violating the company’s policies on adware.
The apps, which were discovered by security company Wandera, span fitness, productivity, travel, and other categories. They were all published by India-based developed AppAspect Technologies Pvt. Ltd.ZDNet was the first to report that the apps were removed.
Wandera researchers found that the apps contained trojan-clicker malware, meaning that the apps could open links or webpages in the background and click them without the user’s knowledge, which can artificially inflate traffic and generate ad revenue for the owner. Known as adware, it isn’t necessarily as dangerous as other forms of malware, but it can drain a device’s battery life.
An Apple spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that 18 apps were removed for having code that allowed for the artificial click-through of ads, which is a violation of Apple’s guidelines. A spokesperson told told ZDNet that Apple had updated its security measures to prevent similar apps from making it into the App Store in the future.
AppAspect Technologies also has apps for the Google Play Store. Because of weaker security protections on Android devices, the malware was able to do more harm on the devices, including gather private information and signing users up for expensive subscriptions, 9to5Mac reported. According to Wandera, the apps from AppAspect on the Google Play Store do not appear to contain adware. The apps had previously been found to be infected and were removed and reuploaded. ” It’s unclear whether the bad code was added intentionally or unintentionally by the developer,” according to Wandera.
Google and AppAspect Technologies did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment
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