Home Cyber Attack Researchers Found Over Two Dozen iOS Fleeceware Apps On App Store

Researchers Found Over Two Dozen iOS Fleeceware Apps On App Store

by Abeerah Hashim
iOS fleeceware apps

Researchers have found another wave of mobile apps overcharging iOS users for meager services. They have identified more than two dozen such iOS fleeceware apps active on the App Store.

iOS Fleeceware Apps Found

Researchers from Sophos Labs have identified 30 different iOS fleeceware apps on the App Store. During their study, they found that the apps charge unusually high amounts to users for offering meager services.

As mentioned in their post,

Most of these fleeceware apps are image editors, horoscope/fortune telling/palm readers, QR code/barcode scanners, and face filter apps for adding silly tweaks to selfies.

For such apps, the researchers found the developers charging high rates such as $9/week or $30/month. Whereas, they offer 3-day or 7-day trial period to the users.

Though, even in the ‘free’ trial period, the apps do not provide many vital features to the users for free. Hence, compelling the users from day-1 to subscribe. Whereas, in some other cases, the apps would mention themselves as ‘free’ whilst not being free in real. This is also something in contrast with App Store policies.

Many of these apps, as also evident through user reviews, lured users from various advertisements. These ads may appear on popular platforms like TikTok and YouTube, or some other apps.

While details about all the 30 apps are in the researchers’ post, here we quickly name them all.

  • Seer App: Face, Horoscope, Palm
  • Selfie Art – Photo Editor
  • Palmistry Decoder
  • Lucky Life – Future Seer
  • Life Palmistry – AI Palm & Tag
  • Picsjoy-Cartoon Effect Editor
  • Aging seer – Faceapp, Horoscope
  • Face Aging Scan-AI Age Camera
  • Face Reader – Horoscope Secret
  • Horoscope Secret
  • CIAO – Live Video Chat
  • Astro Time & Daily Horoscope
  • Video Recorder / Reaction
  • Crazy Helium Funny Face Editor
  • Banuba: Face Filters & Effects
  • QR Code Reader – Scanner
  • QR Code Reader & Barcode PRO
  • Max Volume Booster
  • Face Reading – Horoscope 2020
  • Forecast Master 2019
  • mSpy Lite Phone Family Tracker
  • Fortunescope: Palm Reader 2019
  • Zodiac Master Plus – Palm Scan
  • WonderKey-Cartoon Avatar Maker
  • Avatar Creator – Cartoon Emoji
  • iMoji – Cartoon Avatar Emojis
  • Life Insight-Palm & Animal Face
  • Curiosity Lab-Fun Encyclopedia
  • Quick Art: 1-Tap Photo Editor
  • Astroline astrology, horoscope
  • Celeb Twin – Who you look like

What Should You Do?

For users of any of these apps, the best option to avoid overpaying is to cancel subscriptions right away.

It is also possible that your device may have one or more of such apps installed without your consent. So, do a thorough review of all the apps running on your device, check all subscriptions and see what’s relevant to you.

Last year, the same researchers also highlighted dozens of fleeceware apps on the Play Store that overcharged Android users.

You may also like

Latest Hacking News

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

The __cfduid cookie is used to identify individual clients behind a shared IP address and apply security settings on a per-client basis.

cookie_notice_accepted and gdpr[allowed_cookies] are used to identify the choices made from the user regarding cookie consent.

For example, if a visitor is in a coffee shop where there may be several infected machines, but the specific visitor's machine is trusted (for example, because they completed a challenge within your Challenge Passage period), the cookie allows Cloudflare to identify that client and not challenge them again. It does not correspond to any user ID in your web application, and does not store any personally identifiable information.

__cfduid, cookie_notice_accepted, gdpr[allowed_cookies]

Advertising

DoubleClick by Google refers to the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform which is a separate division within Google. This is Google’s most advanced advertising tools set, which includes five interconnected platform components.

DoubleClick Campaign Manager: the ad-serving platform, called an Ad Server, that delivers ads to your customers and measures all online advertising, even across screens and channels.

DoubleClick Bid Manager – the programmatic bidding platform for bidding on high-quality ad inventory from more than 47 ad marketplaces including Google Display Network.

DoubleClick Ad Exchange: the world’s largest ad marketplace for purchasing display, video, mobile, Search and even Facebook inventory.

DoubleClick Search: is more powerful than AdWords and used for purchasing search ads across Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

DoubleClick Creative Solutions: for designing, delivering and measuring rich media (video) ads, interactive and expandable ads.

doubleclick

Analytics

The _ga is asssociated with Google Universal Analytics - which is a significant update to Google's more commonly used analytics service. This cookie is used to distinguish unique users by assigning a randomly generated number as a client identifier. It is included in each page request in a site and used to calculate visitor, session and campaign data for the sites analytics reports. By default it is set to expire after 2 years, although this is customisable by website owners.

The _gat global object is used to create and retrieve tracker objects, from which all other methods are invoked. Therefore the methods in this list should be run only off a tracker object created using the _gat global variable. All other methods should be called using the _gaq global object for asynchronous tracking.

_gid works as a user navigates between web pages, they can use the gtag.js tagging library to record information about the page the user has seen (for example, the page's URL) in Google Analytics. The gtag.js tagging library uses HTTP Cookies to "remember" the user's previous interactions with the web pages.

_ga, _gat, _gid