Fingerprint Scammer

I’ve seen App Review miss tons of shady shit, but this one is particularly vile. Granted, it comes from a ten month old reddit post, so I can’t be sure exactly whether or not this trick still works with iOS 13. But that’s not the point. It did work at one point. And it got past App Review.

Just in case it’s not clear: this scammer instructs the user to place their finger on the phone’s home button so they can scan it to provide “personalized diet” recommendations. And as soon as the user does that, they prompt for a $99.99 in-app purchase, which, of course, is instantly approved because their finger is on the home button to authorize it. It’s brilliant.

So, what’s the point of App Review again? To quote Apple’s marketing page for the App Store:

Expertly curated.

We created the App Store with two goals in mind: that it be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps…

We take responsibility for ensuring that apps are held to a high standard for privacy, security, and content because nothing is more important than maintaining the trust of our users.

via @jamxf

Mac App Store Scams

The Mac App Store is rife with shoddy software that should never have passed App Review as well as outright scams. I’m looking forward to calling out the many offenders (got any tips?), but until then, let’s start with this slightly bizarre website.

(I’m not going to link to them because I refuse to send any google juice their way.)

But, basically, it’s just an auto-generated WordPress site with copy/paste instructions for installing basically any Mac app using homebrew. It nonchalantly encourages normal users to pipe a shell script as root directly from the web. What could go wrong?

Clearly this website has no real affiliation with Apple – I’m not blaming them for this scam existing. The web has always had crap like this on it.

But, the fact that it has been online and scamming consumers since 2015 and is still online hints at the neglect they’ve historically shown to the real Mac App Store. Any other company the size of Apple that actually cared would have had it taken down by an army of lawyers years ago.