It’s been reported by Business Insider that Apple has deleted an app from the App Store that was hosting an app that defrauded Facebook advertisers and led hackers to exploit advertisers’ ad budgets to run potentially dangerous advertising on Facebook’s platforms.
In the past, the app was a popular search term for “Facebook Ads Manager,” an app used by advertisers to manage their presence and ads on Facebook. The program appeared to be Facebook’s official ad manager, but it was actually a backdoor that allowed hackers to access an account. After only 10 minutes of installing and logging onto the app from Apple’s App Store, one ad agency employee informed Insider that they were locked out of their account.
When the software was first published to the App Store, Apple stated that it was a simple document management program that had no connection to the Facebook network. Upon being accepted for use on Apple’s platform, the app allegedly became malicious, according to an official statement sent to Insider. It was only after Insider’s request for an explanation from Apple that the app was deleted from the platform. Facebook warned the app’s owners in mid-July.
Apple claims that the App Store is a “secure and trusted location to discover and download apps,” with programs held to the “highest standards for privacy, security, and content.” Before an app can be made available for download from the App Store, it goes through a rigorous review process by Apple. Apps were rejected from the App Store for breaking privacy requirements in excess of 250,000 times last year, with an additional 1 million apps being rejected due to content that could be dangerous or unsafe.
Scam apps continue to plague Apple’s platform despite the company’s best efforts. A survey conducted last year indicated that 2 percent of the top 1000 most popular paid apps on the App Store at the time were scams, with those apps apparently making over $1 million in revenue. After it was on Apple’s platform, a fraudulent Bitcoin software made almost $610,000 in fraud.