Hundreds of fake retail apps appear on App Store

Hundreds of fake retail apps appear on App Store

Hundreds of fake retail apps aimed at deceiving holiday shoppers have begun appearing on the App Store, The New York Times reports. Counterfeit apps branded with recognizable store names like Dollar General, Nordstrom, Zappos and many others have popped up in the last few weeks, and while most of the junk apps just run pop-up ads when they’re opened, some have asked for Facebook logins or credit card information that could expose customers to obvious security issues. A careful look at many of the apps will reveal red flags, such as “menus written in butchered English, no reviews and no history of previous versions.”
Most of the apps come from developers in China, managing to skirt Apple’s review process because the company focuses more on scanning for malicious software than checking to see if apps are actually affiliated with the brands listed on them. Apple has removed hundreds of fake apps since the issue was reported Thursday night, but despite the company’s constant efforts, new ones are still popping up every day. “We strive to offer customers the best experience possible, and we take their security very seriously,” said an Apple spokesman, Tom Neumayr. “We’ve set up ways for customers and developers to flag fraudulent or suspicious apps, which we promptly investigate to ensure the App Store is safe and secure. We’ve removed these offending apps and will continue to be vigilant about looking for apps that might put our users at risk.”

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