Apple says it blocked more than 1.6 million risky and untrusted apps and app updates from reaching the App Store and stopped more than $1.5 billion in fraudulent transactions in 2021.
Apple produced its first fraud prevention analysis last year, detailing that it had blocked one million potentially bad apps from the App Store and protected customers from nearly $1.5 billion in potentially harmful transactions. fraudulent in 2020.
In 2021, Apple rejected 34,500 apps for containing hidden or undocumented functionality, compared to 48,000 in 2020. It also rejected 157,000 apps as spamming, copycats or misleading users, compared to 150,000 in 2020. And it has rejected 343,000 apps for breaching privacy. in 2021, compared to 215,000 a year earlier.
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In 2021, Apple also deactivated 170 million fraudulent customer accounts, rejected 118 million fraudulent account creation attempts, and terminated 802,000 fraudulent developer accounts. In 2020, these figures were 244 million, 424 million and 470 million respectively.
“Human review is the hallmark of the app review process,” Apple says in a blog post, noting that the team reviews every app and every update to ensure compliance with the guidelines. Apple App Store.
Apple also uses “proprietary tools that leverage machine learning, heuristics, and data accumulated since the launch of the App Store” to detect potential app issues and violations.
In April, Google reported that it had blocked 1.2 million apps from the Play Store for violating the policy in 2021, preventing billions of harmful installs on Android devices.
During App Review in 2021, Apple also rejected 835,000 problematic new apps and 805,000 app updates. These were not rejected for fraud, but may have been apps with feature-affecting bugs or apps that needed improvements in their moderation mechanisms for user-generated content, according to Apple.
Apple has also cracked down on “nefarious developers” who try to circumvent App Review by creating an app and then changing its concept or functionality once it’s been approved. Apple removed 155,000 apps from the App Store for such violations.
The company is tackling the problem of illegitimate app ratings and reviews. Fake reviews have historically been a problem on the Google Play Store, which Google tried to address in 2016 with new automated filters.
As Apple notes, fake ratings and reviews pose a serious risk to the App Store because they can trick users into downloading or buying an untrustworthy app that has wrongly earned users’ trust through false claims. .
Apple processed more than 1 billion ratings and reviews in 2021 and blocked 94 million reviews and 170 million reviews that did not meet Apple’s moderation standards. Apple also removed 610,000 reviews after they were posted and users raised concerns about the reviews.
Targeting fraudulent developer accounts, beyond the 802,000 developed accounts it terminated last year, Apple rejected more than 153,000 developer signups.
Apple, which is a staunch opponent of sideloading apps on iOS devices, says it also blocked 53,600 apps that were being distributed on pirate storefronts.
“These storefronts distribute malware that is often designed to look like popular apps – or that modify popular apps without their developers’ permission – while bypassing App Store security protections,” Apple says.
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Apple also blocked 3.3 million instances of apps distributed through its Enterprise Developer Program this month. Some malicious developers use it to circumvent App Review or target enterprise customers. Apple blocked 3.2 million over a one-month period in 2020.
The company also prevented the use of 3.3 million stolen payment cards to make purchases on the App Store and banned nearly 600,000 accounts from making transactions again.