Rogue App on the App Store – Worrying About iPad Malware Revisited


About one month ago I addressed a question concerning whether you should worry about viruses and other forms of malware on your iPad. The gist of my response was that you do not need to be concerned about such threats. Then last week we saw multiple reports of a “Trojan” app that made it to Apple's App Store. A blog reader left a comment on my original post wanting to know if I'd changed my stance about iPad safety due to this breach of Apple's security. In short, no. Here's a copy of my reply:

You are referring to the recent discovery and removal of the “”Find and Call” iPhone app from the App Store. Not an advanced threat, more a marketing annoyance. Released on the Russian app store, this app collected contact info from Russian users address books, then sent SMS messages and some email spam to the contacts. This is the first such app in the existence of Apple’s app store (five years) to make it past Apple’s security. Targeted malware appears on a regular basis for Android handsets (Google) and other smartphones.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/05/15/antivirus-firm-75-of-phone-based-malware-now-targets-android/

Apple’s “walled garden” approach to app submission and approval works to keep iOS users safe. Five years of success shows this. The spammy Russian app was quickly discovered and removed.


About Andy Brovey

Dr. Andy Brovey, The Portable Prof, teaches about digital tools through his work, websites and social media. In 2007, Apple Inc. recognized his work and named him an Apple Distinguished Educator. He started this iPad Academy website shortly after the first iPad went on sale. His latest venture is Teach About Tech, a resource marketplace for STEM / STEAM materials.