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Two percent of top 1,000 App Store apps are malicious, report says

Apple maintains that it puts apps through a strict review process

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Two percent of the 1,000 highest-grossing apps on Apple’s App Store were some form of scam, according to a report from the Washington Post. Collectively, the bad apps may have cost consumers around $48 million. 

Some of the apps claim to be from well-known companies like Samsung, while others included VPNs that attempted to trick users into paying for virus protection. Other apps used fake reviews in order to ascend to a higher position within the App Store. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook said recently that there’s a strict review process before apps are allowed onto the App Store. Without that process, he said the company’s app marketplace would be a “toxic mess.” However, the Post’s investigation revealed that some malicious apps are still slipping through the cracks. 

Developers held to ‘high standards’

In a statement to the Post, Apple spokesperson Fred Sainz said Apple is continuing to take action against bad apps. 

“We hold developers to high standards to keep the App Store a safe and trusted place for customers to download software, and we will always take action against apps that pose a harm to users,” Sainz said. “Apple leads the industry with practices that put the safety of our customers first, and we’ll continue learning, evolving our practices and investing the necessary resources to make sure customers are presented with the very best experience.”

Apple reportedly pulled 12 of the 18 apps after the investigation revealed that they were malicious. But the report ultimately proves that some apps are still making it past Apple’s review process. 

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