Feeds

Two scam apps stink up iTunes store, pulled thanks to Reg reader

Eye of the Vulture backs up porous Cupertino iron curtain

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Apple allowed two scam apps to appear in its App Store - and the dodgy software remained on sale for five days until a Reg reader raised the alarm.

The two paid-for programs, built by developer JB Solutions, do not work as advertised in the online shop, sparking a surge in negative feedback comments left by ripped-off fanbois. Both apps were approved by Apple's censors and went live in the software store on 8 November. They were eventually pulled last night after we contacted the fruity firm.

The first app, IntelliScreenX for iPad and iPhone, cost $1.99 (£0.99) and promised a pull-down list of notifications from the device's lock screen. Such a feature is not possible on iOS, although it can be done on jail-broken iPhones.

Users reported that, once downloaded, IntelliScreenX simply showed an alarm clock. The app looked nothing like the screen grabs displayed in the iTunes store front.

The second dodgy program, NFC for iPhone 5, cost $0.99 (£0.69) and promised to enable Near-Field Communications support - useful for making wireless payments - in the smartmobe. Again, that's impossible because the iPhone does not have an NFC chip fitted. As soon as the software is downloaded it changes its name to RadioStreamer and plays music from online stations.

Screen grab of scam app NFC for iPhone 5 from Apple's iTunes

Screen grab of the scam app NFC for iPhone 5 advertised in Apple's iTunes

It's not clear whether the phony apps pose a security risk, but it is clear users ended up paying out for software completely unlike what was expected.

User feedback left on iTunes

Unhappy customers

Oddly enough, there were 20 to 30 positive recommendations and five-star reviews for the apps, no doubt snagging a number of customers, although a lot of negative comments have since appeared.

The Reg asked Apple how something so wrongly advertised could be stocked on the App Store's shelves given the Cupertino giant screens every product submitted by developers. A spokesman would not provide any detail, but told us: "Thanks for bringing this to our attention." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.