Hilary Giorgi

Fishy Apps Found on App Store


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The famous developer and app hunter Kosta Eleftheriou, best known for catching egregious scam software that was able to make its way to Apple devices, has reported finding another group of suspicious titles on the App Store. This time it’s Mac that’s become the target of attacks. All the apps in this category rely on extremely obnoxious pop-ups that won’t let you leave the app until you have agreed to subscribe. Predictably, the fees are extortionate. It appears that Apple is not aware of what’s been going on, even though it maintains that the App Review process is there to ensure device user safety.

The hunt began when Edoardo Vacchi noticed a suspicious app titled My Metronome. Supported by Eleftheriou and a number of other users, Vacchi reports that the application blocks keyboard shortcuts as well as the menu bar, which prevents you from quitting it. The purpose is to force you to pay around 10 USD for a monthly subscription. Luckily, force quitting is still an option, but the approach looks very much like a scam. According to Eleftheriou, there are a plethora of other Apple-targeting apps that work this way, which suggests considerable investment in research prior to the practical phase.

Shortly after Eleftheriou mentioned My Metronome is a critical post revealing its scheme, the app became unavailable on App Store. Developer Jeff Johnson found its developer to be related to Groove Vibes, another contributor to App Store. Testing showed all apps by this developer to work the same way with aggressive pop-ups that leave you no other choice but to either subscribe or force quit the scumware. Do you feel like Apple should assume responsibility for the suspicious as it has been published on App Store? Share your thoughts in the comments.


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