Fake Camera+ app hits the iPhone App Store

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

Camera+ appHow much trust do you put in Apple’s stewardship of the App Store – the online marketplace where you can download apps for your iPhone or iPad?

Chances are that you don’t think twice about installing software from the App Store – after all, all the software up there has been verified by “Apple”, right?

Well, just because Apple has put in procedures to police their App Store, and – unlike the Google Android platform – pre-approve each app, doesn’t mean that fake or malicious apps have never appeared.

This weekend the iPhoneography blog spotted a bogus app posing as the popular Camera+ application.

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Fake iPhone app in the App Store

Fortunately, iPhoneography’s Glyn Evans realised something fishy was afoot and contacted Tap Tap Tap, the real makers of Camera+, and asked them to confirm whether the app – which claimed to be “THE MOST AMAZING CAMERA+ VERSION YET” – was legitimate or not.

[tweet https://twitter.com/taptaptap/status/160711613027057664]

We haven’t been able to get our hands on a copy of the bogus app, so we cannot confirm if it contained any malicious functionality. It is possible that the popular app’s name was being taken in vain, simply in order to try to earn some money from online purchases.

The good news is that, once notified, Apple quickly withdrew the bogus software from its App Store.

But questions still remain as to what went wrong with Apple’s approval process.

Why didn’t they notice that someone was uploading a false version of such a well-known app?

After all, Camera+ is currently the 14th best-selling app in the App Store – Apple should surely recognise if someone other than Tap Tap Tap tries to submit it to the store?

As always, be careful what applications you install on your computing devices – even if they come from the Apple App Store. It’s not just fake software you have to watch out for, malicious code has made it into the App Store in the past.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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