Apple Pulls Spam App From App Store

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Kaspersky Lab, a Russian security company reported that an app on both the iOS App Store and Google Play Store for Android called Find and Call, was harvesting address book contacts and sending them to the developer’s servers. The developers would then send back texts to the gathered contacts advertising the application, with a form containing the original user’s number.

This application was primarily targeting Russian customers as the primary language of the device, but the app was available worldwide. This seems to be the first instance of user contacts have been used in a malicious manner, although there has been some inappropriate use of contact information in the past. 

Kaspersky Lab updated their post several times indicating that the app is also sending out spam emails to user contacts. 

At any rate, Apple has removed the application from the App Store, with both the US and Russian stores showing that the application is now unavailable. Plus, Apple released a statement to The Loop, acknowledging the removal of the app. Here’s the statement:

“The Find & Call app has been removed from the App Store due to its unauthorized use of users’ Address Book data, a violation of App Store guidelines.”

How did this get on the App Store in the first place? Whatever the reason, it’s inexcusable. If Apple wants to be the gatekeeper, then be the damn gatekeeper. Adding insult to injury, this app has been on the App Store since June 13. More than enough time to do serious damage.

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  • Roco

    It is pretty easy to fool the app reviewer, in this case the app just needs to detect its location, if it is in Cupertino, then it won’t do anything fishy. Or rather, do something fishy if it is in Russia. Apple should just ban this developer account, credit card, bank account. Unethical developer deserves just that.

  • http://www.techendeavour.com Lakshmi Balu

    The call and find app has done its damage and app store has always been considered as malware free due to its high standards of guidelines associated with it. However, Apple should hire a third party malware catchers to monitor any suspicious or malicious codes.

  • RedRapper

    I wonder what negative impact this will have on other legitimate apps that have similar names and functions. Hopefully apps like ReadAndCall and others which are good don’t receive unwarranted negative reactions. Many developers work hard to produce good Apps and one bad “apple” can ruin countless hours of good work.