Despite Apple’s rigorous app review process, a new generation of fraudulent apps for macOS have been discovered on the company’s App Store.
As reported by The edge, senior software engineer at Red Hat, Edoardo Vacci discovered the first of the latest batch of fraudulent applications. The application in question, My Metronome, locks itself and does not allow users to quit using the menu bar or keyboard shortcuts (it may be Force Quit) until they agree to pay a subscription of $9.99 per month.
According to FlickType founder and scam app hunter Kosta Eleftheriou, who spoke with The edgethe developer behind My Metronome appears to have “experimented with various techniques over the years to prevent people from closing the paywall”.
Next to a Tweeter from Eleftheriou, My Metronome has been removed from the App Store, but its developer, Music Paradise, LLC is also connected to another app development company called Groove Vibes that has created similar scam apps. In fact, according to the privacy policies of both companies, they are registered at the same address and both mention Akadem GmbH.
Pay to quit apps
To see for themselves, The edge decided to test Music Paradise Music Player app with all Mac apps made by Groove Vibes.
According to the outlet, all tested apps immediately displayed a pop-up window asking users to sign up for a subscription. While three Groove Vibes apps allowed users to quit using the menu bar or by pressing Command+Q, two of the company’s apps as well as the Music Paradise Player app grayed out the quit option in the bar. menus and preventing users from clicking the red button. in the corner to close the application. Keyboard shortcuts were also of no use.
Unlike ransomware, the apps in question do not block users’ access to their files, but prevent users from easily closing them so that they fall for the scam and sign up for a monthly subscription instead.
Surprisingly, all of these scam apps seemed to fall through the cracks during Apple’s app review process, which should have prevented them from being released in the first place. Although scams like these reappear from time to time, at least Apple has added a “Report a problem” button to the App Store so that at least users can notify the company of rogue apps.
By the edge