Apple pulls over 250 apps from the App Store for spying

Apple pulls over 250 apps from the App Store for spying
According to a report published over the weekend, over 250 apps had to be pulled from the App Store by Apple. Their crime? Apparently these apps were gathering information on users using private APIs that Apple had previously banned. The 256 apps removed were using a version of the Youmi advertising SDK, which is meant for China.

The SDK is integrated in iOS and Android apps, allowing it to store information about users of these apps. The 256 apps removed had been downloaded over 1 million times. One report claims that the information picked up by the Youmi SDK includes a list of all apps downloaded on a particular phone, the platform serial number of iPhones and iPads running older versions of iOS, a list of hardware components and their serial numbers employed on iPhones and iPads running a newer version of iOS, and the email address registered with the user's Apple ID. The information is supposedly sent to Youmi servers using private APIs.

Apple has removed all of the apps that were using Youmi's SDK, including the official McDonald's app in China. Developers who want to check their own app(s) can use the Searchlight tool from SourceDNA. The research firm says that the majority of the apps using Youmi SDK were submitted by Chinese developers, who were unaware of what was going on.

In a statement, Apple says that any app submitted to the App Store with code from the Youmi SDK will now be automatically rejected. It also is working with developers whose apps were pulled, to get these apps resubmitted and published again in the App Store.


source: SourceDNA via MacRumors, RedmondPie

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32 Comments

1. discharge unregistered

Gee and they say android has app issues??? Great job Tim Cook!! Damn douche bag!!

8. magicpowers8

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 10, 2015

Haha technically it was some code a site had that wasn't even directly from Apple so you statement is invalid.

11. discharge unregistered

Apple did have a hacking issue a bit time ago and pulled hundreds of apps affected and now this?? No iOS or OS is perfect to the fact!! I corrected myself but being said Apple acts like they are so perfect and they are not!!! Apple users know this

13. magicpowers8

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 10, 2015

No OS is perfect so their are always bugs and stuff, iOS isn't perfect at all, it needs work. And that statement is soo true, Apple needs to get their s**t straight before they can make claims.

14. discharge unregistered

Exactly, glad we see the same page!! We as the consumer get screwed buying them devices and get stuck with all the bugs and sometimes hopeless updates while the CEO'S of them device companies aka Apple and makers of androids too, cash in and leave us out in the cold!! Our devices are like car insurance ya got to have it, it's all about the $$$$$ but it's the game of life..

23. magicpowers8

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 10, 2015

Yep, and the phones cost wayyyy more than they actually would.

27. discharge unregistered

Exactly the company's pay probably less than 200 than sell for 700-1000 that's a huge profit!! And each person times that YIKES!!! Somebody living and eating good lol

10. AlikMalix unregistered

In my opinion (and it might just be me), the entire platform of android is like the 256 apps that were removed: designed to track personal data and collect it on googled personal servers. You wanna be mad at someone start with the company providing "free" operating system and "free" services for your phone.

12. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

If you don't like annoying fanboys/trolls/bashers, you don't have to be one.

16. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

This is the second time I've seen a comment like this today. Do you seriously think that Apple, Microsoft, or any other company with an OS doesn't collect your personal information? If you do then I've got a great deal on some marshy land in Florida for you.

17. AlikMalix unregistered

I think you're confused a bit (not a pun).. I'm fully aware of the information that Apple and Google collect. I speak based on the core foundation of the companies that collect info. For example the difference between Apple and Google as core foundation goes is Apple's profits are mainly in selling you hardware and services. Google doesn't sell hardware and services as their CORE FOUNDATION, they provide FREE services and free OS specifically to collect your information so they can profit by providing that information to someone else. This is not about google being evil and pray on your shopping lists that's stored in your gmail account (trust me - I dont believe that shnit even though I'm an iPhone fan), but based on what Apple did, I was comparing the removed 'Apps and the developers that made them' to what google does with android and its services overall - which are very, very similar! Hope you understand what I said.

2. meanestgenius

Posts: 22273; Member since: May 28, 2014

Now THIS is a good move on the part of Apple. Gotta give props where props are due. I hope that more owners of app stores are doing the same. Bravo, Apple. It's mentioned here that the SDK is integrated into Android apps as well. I hope Google is taking action to prevent this. Especially since my favorite OEM is now building Android handsets. Although, they most likely have tech integrated into the handset to either alert the user or prevent it outright.

4. darkkjedii

Posts: 31311; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

100% agreed. Apple dropped the hammer!

5. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Indeed. Good move on Apple for doing that.

15. discharge unregistered

No maker is perfect like I posted above!! Androids or Apple we just have to gamble wich device suits us for what are needs are for...

3. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

Good move Apple, and Google seriously needs to get it's sh!t together.

6. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I agree. They really do.

7. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Why does this concern Google? Apple owner already bought the idea that are safe with Apple after paying Apple high phone price. So all this year Apple safety is just an illusion and you guys just continue to believe no matter what's had happened.

18. AlikMalix unregistered

So what's safer to use for 90% of population, iOS or Android?

19. meanestgenius

Posts: 22273; Member since: May 28, 2014

BlackBerry.

20. AlikMalix unregistered

Ha-ha, kudos, MG... but for most of the users out there they buy iOS or Android devices, and I really want joey to answer that with some kind of explanation...

21. meanestgenius

Posts: 22273; Member since: May 28, 2014

Lol! Well, with BlackBerry throwing their hat into the world of Android now, and with the built in features/apps Chen has talked about that will help them secure their Android offering, as well as the dedicated chip that secures Android at the core level inside of the Priv, I'd wager that it's still BlackBerry. Or what I like to refer to the Priv as: BlackDroid. Pretty catchy name, if you ask me.

22. AlikMalix unregistered

What about "DroidBerry" or "Andrerry" or "Blackbroid" or "Blandroid"

28. discharge unregistered

Never tried blackberry but back in 2008 just before the iPhone came the blackberry storm my sister had that at Verizon and she said the phone was good but the clicking screen was annoying

29. meanestgenius

Posts: 22273; Member since: May 28, 2014

The Storm was the worst BlackBerry ever, and this is coming from a BlackBerry fan. BlackBerry's BB10 handsets are leaps and bounds ahead of the Storm.

31. discharge unregistered

I saw the z10 I think it was a few years back Verizon had I think it was a blackberry z10 or z9 and looked like a iPhone kinda that was a good seller I have faith blackberry can make a comeback we need other options out there and now is a chance for blackberry to pull a fast surprise on us!! I used to be a rep at Verizon back than i think it was a z10 in white?? But I think blackberry can come back!!!

25. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

AlikMalix, what's is safer is not the right question to ask. Given that iOS and Android approach to security is different. Apple does not even allow anti-malware tool to be publish in their App Store. The responsibility for iOS security lay solely on Apple and in this incident they have breach it. Android is an open platform, there are plenty of anti-malware tools available in the Play Store. Android approach to security is shared between Google and Users. I am very sure with the right anti-malware tool on my Android phone are just as secure as Apple iOS. I choose Bit Defender (Free) because i like its small foot with 100% virus and malware detention rate. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bitdefender.antivirus&hl=en

24. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

I am an android user, WTF are you talking about? This is a good move by Apple, and it's no secret that Google's track record on user privacy is patchy at best. Apple's record isn't perfect, but they are better than Google's at this point.

26. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

rd_nest, please provide an example when Google Security is being compromise. I don't believe that Google's track record on privacy is patchy or need to get their shit together rather your Google trolling record is shit!! and need to stop.

30. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

Do you have internet at home? http://www.businessinsider.com/google-pays-225-million-for-violating-users-privacy-2012-11?IR=T And learn to read before opening your mouth next time. I am talking about privacy concerns, not security.

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