Usually, Google Play Store is the one being home to malware-laden apps or the ones with malicious intentions and Apple is the one coming with all the security. However, this doesn't stand true always and a recent study by cybersecurity firm Sophos Labs prove that. Read on to know more about it,
Avoid these iOS apps with 'Fleeceware'
According to Sophos Labs security firm, around 30 iOS apps have been discovered that have Fleeceware in them. The Fleeceware apps have been downloaded more than 3.6 million times from the App Store. For those who don't know, Fleeceware apps don't contain malware but are the ones that initiate financial fraud. The apps will let users into downloading them and will charge money from unnecessarily, thus, in a way stealing money from them.
Fleeceware apps provide users with a short period of free trials. If a user doesn't want to pay once the subscription ends, he or she will either end the trial or delete the app. Once the app is deleted, the app developers should ideally cancel the subscription on their own. However, the Fleeceware app developers don't do so and charge a lot (around hundreds of dollars a year) from the users.
Additionally, these apps come claim to be free on the App Store but when a user downloads them, the free trial notification pops up. Additionally, the Fleeceware apps engage in heavy advertising (featuring in ads on YouTube, TikTok and other apps) due to which they are mostly downloaded by people.
The blog post by Sophos Labs reads, "Fleeceware apps are not officially malicious, but they are unethical, preying on consumer trust with devious techniques designed to make money. They appear to encourage unsuspecting users to install them through aggressive online advertising and what are likely to be fake five-star reviews."
As a reminder, back in January, a set of Android apps were found out that had Fleeceware in them. The apps had more than 600 million installs on the Google Play Store. This suggests that both the Google Play Store and the App Store are susceptible to Fleeceware apps.
Here are the Fleeceware iOS apps that you need to avoid or delete if you have them:
- Seer App:Face, Horoscope, Palm
- Selfie Art – Photo Editor
- Palmistry Decoder
- Lucky Life – Future Seer
- Life Palmistry – AI Palm & Tag
- Picsjoy-Cartoon Effect Editor
- Aging seer – Faceapp,Horoscope
- Face Aging Scan-AI Age Camera
- Face Reader – Horoscope Secret
- Horoscope Secret
- CIAO – Live Video Chat
- Astro Time & Daily Horoscope
- Video Recorder / Reaction
- Crazy Helium Funny Face Editor
- Banuba: Face Filters & Effects
- QR Code Reader & Barcode PRO
- Max Volume Booster
- Face Reading – Horoscope 2020
- Forecast Master 2019
- mSpy Lite Phone Family Tracker
- Fortunescope: Palm Reader 2019
- Zodiac Master Plus – Palm Scan
- WonderKey-Cartoon Avatar Maker
- Avatar Creator – Cartoon Emoji
- iMoji – Cartoon Avatar Emojis
- Life Insight-Palm & Animal Face
- Curiosity Lab-Fun Encyclopedia
- Quick Art: 1-Tap Photo Editor
- Astroline astrology, horoscope
- Celeb Twin – Who you look like
- My Replica – Celebrity Like Me
How to remain safe?
The researchers of Sophos Labs suggest that you should always download apps from trusted sources from both the Google Play Store and the App Store. It's always best to pay attention while downloading apps and not trust them blindly. If you have these apps on your iPhone, do not just delete them. Cancel the subscription first and then get rid of them. To cancel the trial, Open Settings>Subscriptions>Select the subscription you want to cancel> Select the Cancel Subscription option.
Additionally, for Android, Head to Google Play Store>Tap on the Hamburger menu in the top left corner>Select Subscriptions>Select Cancel subscriptions.