In full legal battle with Epic Games, Apple unveils for the first time the figures of its App Store and the security measures that make its store “more secure and reliable”. In 2020, more than a million apps were deleted, 475,000 developer accounts terminated and more than $ 1.5 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions avoided. A good hearer …
At the heart of the trial between Apple and Epic Games, the App Store reveals some of its secrets. But not too much all the same. This Tuesday, the apple brand for the first time distilled a long series of figures on its application store to extol the merits of its anti-fraud policy, whether in the review of submitted applications, evaluations and ratings. , the creation of accounts or even fraudulent payment attempts.
A first which comes at the right time for Apple which wants to promote the work provided to ensure ” security and confidentiality From its users on the App Store. And this, in the face of the many voices, starting with Epic, who ask for flexibility and opening up to competition.
48,000 apps ejected for hidden functions including Fortnite
In a long press release, Apple detailed the different elements that make its App Store “ safe and reliable“. And it all starts with detecting and taking action against fraudulent developers and users who resort to increasingly sophisticated subterfuge over time.
For this, the Californian company relies in particular on no less than 500 people responsible for checking the various applications submitted and / or their updates, if they meet the security and confidentiality rules of the App Store, if the data recovered is in accordance with the actual needs to operate. ” An essential line of defense“As Apple calls this audit team, which combines human curation, artificial intelligence and machine learning in its tools to review thousands of apps every day. And to remember that cybersecurity experts applauded efforts to make the App Store a safe place to load apps.
In 2020, nearly a million new apps and as many updates to existing apps were removed or rejected for gross violations ” likely to harm users or harm their experience“. This figure is still higher than the first 180,000 applications launched at the same time on the App Store. For more than 215,000 of them, it was mostly about standards imposed by Apple not respected, when 150,000 turned out to be copies, spam or just plain misleading, and 48,000 were ejected from the App. Store for hidden malicious functions. This was particularly the case with a casino application hidden behind a children’s game. But also of Fortnite…
This technique of ” Bait & Switch Has become common on the stores and requires managers to be even more vigilant. This involves submitting an app for validation in order to drastically change its operation later, often for malicious purposes. A long-term struggle for those responsible for the App Store who have deleted nearly 95,000 applications in 2020 after noticing such operation. Once warned of their upcoming expulsion, developers have fifteen days to review their copy and settle the contentious points.
The process generally concerns harmless applications which, once validation has been obtained, become real money gambling applications, pornography applications, which allow the illegal purchase of drugs, rewards users for the distribution of illegal content, etc.
Ratings and reviews: the other scam system in the finder
When we talk about fraud, there is the behavior of developers to make their application grow and, indirectly, to try to earn money by directing to another payment tool, recovering users’ personal data for better use. sell or in a deliberately malicious manner. But to do that in a form of legality, there is also the fact of relying on the evaluations and favorable opinions to attract users. That too is trafficked.
Apple has put in place a tool to fight against notices submitted by bots and which often follow the same mechanism. It must be said that last year, more than a billion reviews were submitted and more than 100 million reviews had to be reviewed. In the end, 250 million of them were withdrawn for non-compliance with the rules of moderation. This consisted as much of analyzing written opinions to rule out fraud as of verifying the authenticity of the accounts.
Fight against fraud on all floors
Fraud also goes through other means according to Apple. There is the classic creation of fraudulent accounts, whether by developers to submit applications. In 2020 alone, 244 million customer accounts were deactivated due to fraudulent and abusive activity. In addition, 424 million attempts to create accounts were rejected for suspicious behavior.
For developers, the risk is losing their access to the App Store developer program and seeing their account terminated. This was the case for 470,000 developer accounts in 2020 for 205,000 registrations rejected, because they presented some questionable positions. ” Despite the fraudsters’ sophisticated techniques to hide their actions, Apple’s aggressive surveillance means these accounts are closed, on average, within a month of their creation.“, Announces Apple.
$ 1.5 billion in fraudulent transactions avoided
And Apple will even hunt beyond its lands by also tracking illegitimate applications on pirate windows (110,000 in 2020). These are often malicious apps that look like popular apps and promise to install without going through the App Store. The Apple Developer Enterprise program, which allows companies to distribute apps internally, has also been targeted by fraudulent attempts to bypass the secure process and install dangerous apps. This would make it possible in particular to recover confidential information within a company or to take control of certain computers.
Monitor apps, Apple accounts, and reviews: Everything that could affect the user experience on the Apple Store at the time of download is scrutinized, but not only. When it comes to security, payment tools and especially Apple Pay are a serious topic. Apple Pay and StoreKit are thus used by more than 900,000 applications, but no banking data is shared with merchants. Apple announces that it has strengthened security and avoided more than $ 1.5 billion in fraud last year, in particular by detecting misappropriated or stolen information for purchases of goods or services with stolen cards.