Researchers at the mobile security company, Wandera, singled out 17 apps listed on Apple's App Store as malicious in a new report published on Thursday, Oct. 24. The firm advised iPhone users to delete the apps immediately as they were found to contain Trojan malware.
All of the listed apps belonged to the same developer but varied in nature. These include an internet radio, a restaurant finder, EMI calculator, contacts manager, and video editor. The term "Trojan" malware derives its name from the ancient Greek tale about soldiers sneaking through the gates of Troy by hiding inside a wooden horse. Like the Greek soldiers, some malware can slip into your device through seemingly harmless apps that you have installed.
"The clicker trojan module discovered in this group of applications is designed to carry out ad fraud-related tasks in the background, such as continuously opening web pages or clicking links without any user interaction," Wandera explained in its report.
The company added that the objective of the clicker trojans is to fraudulently collect advertisement revenue for the attacker by inflating website traffic. They can also be employed to rip off a competitor company by artificially inflating its advertising budget. Although this does not cause any direct harm to app users, it does slow down the phone, inflate data usage and drain the device's battery.
Fortunately for iPhone users, an Apple spokesperson confirmed that the apps in question have been removed from the iOS App Store but the company did not find any Trojan Malware. Instead, they were removed for containing code that allowed the fraudulent click-through of ads, which is a violation of the App Store's guidelines. The App Store also updated its tools to detect similar apps in the future.
Still, if you have any of the apps already installed on your device, uninstall them immediately. The 17 malicious apps found on the App Store are as follows:
- RTO Vehicle Information
- EMI Calculator & Loan Planner
- File Manager – Documents
- Smart GPS Speedometer
- CrickOne – Live Cricket Scores
- Daily Fitness – Yoga Poses
- FM Radio PRO – Internet Radio
- My Train Info – IRCTC & PNR
- Around Me Place Finder
- Easy Contacts Backup Manager
- Ramadan Times 2019 Pro
- Restaurant Finder – Find Food
- BMT Calculator PRO – BMR Calc
- Dual Accounts Pro
- Video Editor – Mute Video
- Islamic World PRO – Qibla
- Smart Video Compressor