Apple says sideloading apps into iPhone could undermine security

Apple believes sideloading apps into iPhone can make it less secure   | Photo Credit: Reuters

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Apple argued against mounting regulatory pressure to allow sideloading apps into iPhone, claiming that this would make it less secure and trustworthy for users. Sideloading is the process of downloading apps on a mobile device from a website or a third-party app store.

"Allowing sideloading would degrade the security of the iOS platform and expose users to serious security risks not only on third-party app stores, but also on the App Store," Apple said in a report.

It added that personal data stored on iPhones, like photos, location data, health and financial information, could be stolen as a result of sideloading. Such methods used to download apps on Android have led to cybercriminals launching ransomware attacks on users’ devices. If malicious apps are installed, users could be locked out of their phone, unless they pay a ransom.

Also Read | Apple CEO says proposed EU tech rules threaten security of iPhones

Android users have been tricked to download fake versions of apps like Netflix and Candy Crush. These fake apps can spy on users, take screenshots of their devices, view location, text messages and contacts, steal users’ login credentials, and make changes to users’ phones.

Other fake apps can even steal banking credentials and take over users’ bank accounts.

A recent ransomware scam involves an Android app masquerading as a COVID-19 contact tracing app. If installed, it encrypts all personal information, leaving an email address to contact if the user wants to rescue their data.

One app found on third-party Android app stores tricks users by pretending to be a system update. Once installed, it displays a “Searching for update” notification, as it gets access to and steals the user’s personal data like messages, contacts, and pictures.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 8:30:38 PM |

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