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Businesses Apple

Apple Wages Battle To Keep App Store Malware-Free (networkworld.com) 85

alphadogg writes: Apple is facing growing challenges keeping suspicious mobile applications out of its App Store marketplace. Over the last two months, researchers have found thousands of apps that could have potentially stolen data from iOS devices. Apple has removed some of affected apps since it was alerted by security companies. But the problems threaten to taint the App Store's years-long reputation as being high quality and malware free.
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Apple Wages Battle To Keep App Store Malware-Free

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  • They can't really say they are 100% committed to protecting peoples' privacy when they keep pushing out the facebook app - which is of course dedicated to encouraging people to give up as much of their personal information as possible.
    • by kuzb ( 724081 )

      Such Hypocrisy is shared by most large companies. As much as I don't like Apple, they are hardly unique in this. I'd be more worried about their continued human rights violations that they repeatedly claim they've dealt with.

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Friday November 06, 2015 @01:19AM (#50875141)
        What's funny is that so many here don't like Apple that they hold it to a higher standard. Nike has been linked to many more human rights violations they blatantly ignore, and Apple's big sin is that they build in China (like everyone else, but it's somehow worse for Apple).

        The suicide rate at Foxconn is less than an average American High School. Until a US president is brought up on crimes against humanity for NCLB, it seems a bit silly to condemn Apple.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Why is this marked Troll? The human rights violations aren't ever mentioned around here unless Apple is under scrutiny. In fact, the hubub around here died down after made some changes, only for it to reoccur a couple of years later. Perhaps if it really were about human rights and not about dinging Apple's PR, the heat would have stayed on, other companies would be following suit, and Apple wouldn't feel comfy enough to let it happen again.

          • Despite being somewhat anti-Apple, I've always been on Apple's side when stories about "it's" human rights violations come up, specifically for the reasons OP cites. I would never mod it down simply because it favors Apple, and if it gets out of hand I've written posts defending Apple as OP did.

            That said, I'm less inclined to go around correcting people when it's brought up in web forums because the general media is biased wildly in Apple's favor. e.g. Did you know one of the main patents in Apple's $1
            • Why even spend the time on that when Foxconn produces parts for many manufactures and not just Apple? I wouldn't mind, but worker safety is a whole different level from PR stemming from a poorly understood patent case. Heck, you could even rake Apple over the coals for letting the violations happen again as recently as this year!

        • by kuzb ( 724081 )

          Apple often goes to great lengths to try to make us believe that they've fixed the problem. I'm not suggesting Apple is better or worse than those other companies, only that it's a more important issue than what goes on in their app store.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by davester666 ( 731373 )

            No, they have never claimed to have 'fixed' the problem, because it is a problem that is unlikely to fixed anytime soon in China. What they do claim is that they have taken concrete steps to reduce the likelyhood of it happening, both by paying more money for services and by penalties for contract violations [which supposedly include things like workers hours/conditions/no child labor].

        • What's funny is that so many here don't like Apple that they hold it to a higher standard.

          Wrong. People don't like Apple because it is not meeting the same standard as others: It pockets more of the money that it makes through slave labor than others do. Therefore, it can better afford to pay people a living wage, and therefore its behavior is actually more repugnant than that of other corporations.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            But let me be the first to say this. The Apple dominance era is (slowly) coming to a close. Okay Arstechnica or whatever tech mag will still print a bias reviews of Apple products against say the Nexus 9 by focusing on benchmarks that favor Apple. All the meantime, the screen resolutions of their devices are falling behind, the software (mainly Safari) is falling behind (eg Chrome) and more importantly their critical security exploits being the highest in 2014 then years prior.

            I'm not saying their standard

            • by trparky ( 846769 )
              And meanwhile Android's security track record is the worst it's ever been. Millions of people are still completely exploitable because the particular OEM that made their device doesn't give a shit about their one year old device. God help the people who can't always afford the latest and greatest flagship device and is stuck on some three plus year old device because that's all the prepaid cellular service providers seem to shove down these people's throats.

              And as for screen resolutions I don't give a shi
              • by trparky ( 846769 )
                Crap... two questions. I wish there was an edit button.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          "The suicide rate at Foxconn is less than an average American High School."
          Compare it to a GM factory or some other American blue-collared industry and you'll see that for all the "prevention" Foxconn is truly dangerous. Also, I'd like to point out that there's no study on the long term effects of those work conditions, which can't possibly be good when short term they cause so many deaths.

          And lastly ... Apple makes hardware and software, nice but no longer extraordinary. It sells a brand, an image, that's

          • by AK Marc ( 707885 )

            "The suicide rate at Foxconn is less than an average American High School."
            Compare it to a GM factory or some other American blue-collared industry and you'll see that for all the "prevention" Foxconn is truly dangerous.

            Nope. Foxconn's suicide is not higher than US general suicide rates. I used those numbers to not get into a debate about how the Foxconn suicide rate is calculated. That and if that rate was so bad, why aren't we doing more in US schools? We aren't, which means we think that rate is acceptable, unless it's happening at Apple, and we hate Apple.

        • Well at least it is since they installed the nets outside the windows.
      • Well, there a LOT of people who really really want to broadcast their every moment via Facebook. So, people are CHOOSING to give up their privacy in exchange for, well, who knows what they get out of it.

        You don't have to use the built-in Facebook/Twitter/whatever support or use any of the facebook/twitter/instagram apps from their store, if you don't want to.

        And if you don't, I know, this is incredibly hard to believe, but, NONE of your information is sent to Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/whatever.

        I don't hav

    • by rsborg ( 111459 )

      They can't really say they are 100% committed to protecting peoples' privacy when they keep pushing out the facebook app - which is of course dedicated to encouraging people to give up as much of their personal information as possible.

      Yeah I know I'm feeding the troll here, but Facebook is not integrated into the OS or even distributed as a default app.

      There is a difference between systems that take personal information from you and ones where you willingly give it away.

      The Facebook app hasn't touched any of my devices, and now with content blockers in iOS, I won't even be giving them my ad cookies either when I inadvertently visit a site that has their Like button or other trackers.

  • Apple doesn't have a QA testing suite/lab for applications ?

  • Apple Wages Battle To Keep App Store Malware-Free.......and they'll lose.

    There are a million malicious programmers versus what, a few dozen app testers and some automated code-checking tools?

    Yeah, good luck with that. They'll never keep the App Store free of malware. I'm calling this one right now, Apple will lose.

  • The store is the only guardian on the entire iOS operating system. it's a single point of failure. If the user had complete access to his device, this wouldn't be a problem.
    • Which is why Windows never had any malware (at least until Vista on, when they tried to make it harder to control the computer), and most Android devices have no malware problem, right?

  • Personally I'd rather risk infection than be restricted to what Apple says I can do
  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Friday November 06, 2015 @08:34AM (#50875891) Journal

    Before I start, yes I'm an Android guy - but, I do have an iphone and ipad.

    How.the.fuck do Apple fans justify that shitty app store? The search is OUTRIGHT BROKEN. It's BROKEN! There's so many fake / spam / SEO'd bullshit apps which come up when you search for something, it's fucking incredible.

    It literally doesn't find the app I'm looking for, over 50% of the time.
    I mean, I'm cool with tech companies not being perfect but this is the "Ever flawless" Apple who always get things right...? It's fundamentally broken.
    I don't even care that the spam exists! so what? But at least fix the algorithm so when I search for "extremely well known app X" it actually returns a result of the "extremely well known app X" I'm looking for.

    While I'm railing on them, one more thing* why in all that is !@#%$ing holy, can I not remotely install apps on my iphone / ipad from my PC? Yeah yeah, I'm an Android guy, I mentioned that,...
    How can the Google Play store have had this for 3 years+ and third party Android app installers have had it for 5 years. FIVE YEARS.

    I'm sitting on my PC for example, reading slashdot, someone says "hey blah blah is a brilliant app on my ipad, it really solved XYZ" I should be able to open a new tab, go to the app store, find the app and click "install to ipad"
    It's nearly 2016. How is this fucking missing?
    Worst part is, you ask this, even politely and Apple fans will tell you how "wrong you are" for wanting it. (I'm expecting at least a mixed / logical reaction on this site)

    Outright crazy, poor design, backwards thinking. These are good features. It's nuts.

    * Jesus I wish slashdot was still highly relevant, there might be a miniscule chance of an Apple person actually reading the post and fixing this idiocy.

    • Settings -> iTunes & App Stores (on your iDevice)

      There's setting for
      "Automatic updates"

      You can enable it for Music, Apps, Books and Updates.
      It doesn't work by default if you're not on WiFi - but you can enable it, if you don't have bandwidth limitation.

      I didn't know where this setting was, so I searched for "App" in the settings.

      • I think you're misunderstanding me or ..... I explained poorly.
        I want the ability to REMOTELY install apps to my iPad, sitting on the coffee table downstairs or even on my desk at work while I'm at home, simply by going to the app store website, logging in to my itunes / app store account and clicking 'install' on whatever app.
        It should then prompt me, "which Apple device?", of the "Apple devices registered on this account"

        This is how it works on the Google Play store, it might even be 4 years, not 3.

        • So, you want the capability to remotely load apps onto your iPad? Are you sure you'll remain the only one with that capability?

          You can buy apps from your computer, and then you can sync. Assuming you like to keep some sort of backup, you'll be syncing periodically anyway. What's wrong with that?

          • You seem to be diverting the topic to security arguments. If the Apple app store login is secure enough to have my real name, payment info, it's secure enough to distribute applications to my ipad - just how it works on Google Play now.

            As for itunes sync style, nope not a chance. That's a very poor system and I don't think anyone uses itunes anymore now that they don't have to. (The cloud backups on iphone / ipad work exceptionally)

            Regardless even if I did want to do that, I'd still need the ipad in my

            • If you're discussing why you can't, security is the reason. Apple makes considerably different security tradeoffs than Android, and that is one thing to consider when deciding what to get.

        • The only part which the App Store cannot do is selecting specific devices. Any enabled device will download the new app and devices not enabled will not download it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "While I'm railing on them, one more thing* why in all that is !@#%$ing holy, can I not remotely install apps on my iphone / ipad from my PC?"

      I imagine Google's array of patents on remotely installing phone apps probably has something to do with it.

  • >> problems threaten to taint the App Store's years-long reputation as being high quality and malware free

    So, we can agree that Apple's application vetting process is and always was bullshit, right?

    • by cjmnews ( 672731 )

      Due to their original design and the use of Objective C, yes.

      Their screening process consists of scanning code for using "undocumented" system calls that are restricted for Apple's use only.
      Obfuscate those system call strings and you have now bypassed the screening process (ala: XcodeGhost)
      Too bad they can't stop it, until they move every app to Swift (now you know why they created a new language).
      Even if they could crack every system call string alteration an app could do, the app could request the system

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