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Report claims 1st discovery of malware in Apple App store

By Jeremy C. Owens

San Jose Mercury News (MCT)


SAN JOSE, Calif. >> An application available for Apple and Google’s mobile operating systems steals the user’s contacts list for the purposes of text messaging spam, according a report issued Thursday that claims it is the first malware to appear in Apple’s App Store.

The app, called “Find and Call,” passes itself off as a mobile phone book application, but users who download and use the app will have all of their contacts uploaded to a remote server, according to a post from Kaspersky Lab security blogger Denis Maslennikov. Once the app uploads the user’s contacts, it sends text messages to all of the contacts that appears to be from the infected phone’s number, with a link to download the app.

Maslennikov traced the app’s creation to a website for a Singapore-based company, which seeks even more information about visitors, including PayPal information.

This type of malicious software, called a “Trojan,” has appeared in Android’s Google Play store before, Maslennikov reported, but “it’s the first case that we’ve seen malware in the Apple App Store,” he wrote.

Apple and Google were notified of the malware app available in their stores by Kaspersky, but the app was still available early Thursday morning. In the Google Play store, the app had more than 100 downloads and three one-star ratings, while advertising “Free calls from your mobile phone to domains, email, Skype, social networks. Forget about numbers!!!” In Apple’s App Store, the app received 1.5 stars.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple did not immediately respond to an email request for verification and comment. Mountain View, Calif.-based Google does not comment on specific apps.

The malware app adds to problems for Apple’s popular app store after users receiving updates for apps in the past two days suffered through their apps crashing immediately after launching them.

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Manapua_Man wrote:
Apple is supposed to screen all apps offered on their App Store. Someone screwed up badly.
on July 6,2012 | 06:03AM
adri1456 wrote:
Like computers, always research what you buy on your smartphone. And if it's too good to be true, then it's probably is.
on July 6,2012 | 06:16AM
jlp wrote:
Hey it's on android too so why isn't info included.
on July 6,2012 | 07:06AM
droid wrote:
Apparently, you failed to read the first sentence of this article. Please get a clue.
on July 6,2012 | 11:23PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
How ironic. The company, Apple, who hired a hacker who did a lot of damage to other companies such as Sony is getting attacked by hackers. By hiring a known hacker Apple is rewarding the creep. Maybe Apple thought it would get street cred with the hackers by hiring one. It didn't work did it?
on July 6,2012 | 11:06AM
NoFlippinWay wrote:
So much for the understanding that Apple is supposed to check and approve "all" apps before it hits their fortified app store. I remember the sales pitch from Apple about how the Android apps are lawless and susceptible to trojans, etc. I could easily view all permissions on any given app on my Android phone but I've yet to see any such thing when I shop at Apple's app store.
on July 6,2012 | 04:59PM
droid wrote:
Exactly! With the exception of serious video editors (i.e Final Cut Pro), Apple users are generally novice computer users. These consumers are easily influenced by clever marketing and television advertising commercials. They follow the crowd.
on July 6,2012 | 11:34PM
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