Security researchers have revealed that 17 iOS apps were infected by clicker trojan malware. These all apps for Apple’s operating system were developed by an Indian app developer AppAspect Technologies. As soon as the Cupertino headquartered company learned about the malware infected apps, it deleted these apps from the App Store. However, users who have already installed these infected apps need to uninstall them given the security risk that they pose. This was revealed in a study conducted by Wandera cybersecurity firm. The London headquartered firm provides threat detection, content filtering, and data management services worldwide. It said that the 17 iOS apps were infected with clicker trojan malware. Researchers added that these apps communicated with a known command and control server. The clicker trojan in the apps was designed in order to carry out tasks in the background. The tasks include continuously opening web pages or clicking links without establishing communication with the owner. The clicker trojan malware’s objective was to generate revenue for the attacker on a pay-per-click basis.
The Ahmedabad based app developer has a total of 51 apps published on the App Store. Researchers tested all of the free iTunes Applications developed by the tech firm. The outcome revealed that 17 out of the 35 free apps were infected with the clicker trojan malware. When Apple observed that these apps are not meeting compliance requirements set by the company, they immediately investigated it and removed deleted from the App Store. The company said that allowing artificial clicks is a violation of its set guidelines.
According to researchers, these apps were able to bypass Apple’s security checks because they were designed to activate a direct communication channel with the attacker. This was not within the company’s view, hence these apps easily circumvent the security checks. The development comes in the backdrop of recent decision by Google to remove 29 malicious Android apps from its Play Store that were generating fraudulent clicks in the background through ads to generate revenue.