Breaking News: iOS App Store Hit by Malware
This morning, alongside speculation about a certain public figure’s student days, the mainstream media was awash with news of a malware intrusion on the iOS App Store. “Rotten Apple” begins the Sky News headline, while the Daily Mail speaks of “…hundreds of millions of iPhone users at risk…”
So what’s happened? Well, in a nutshell it looks like a number of legitimate developers – mostly focused on the Chinese market – were duped by hackers into using a counterfeit version of Xcode, Apple’s app creation software. With the so-called XcodeGhost in place, the potential for users to fall victim to phishing scams via the affected apps is increased significantly – a rare occurrence in Apple’s ultra-secure world.
Indeed, the Sky News report points out that only five malicious apps have ever been found in the App Store due to its strict vetting. The latest news is that Apple have removed the affected apps from the store and are working with developers to reinstate them with the correct software.
Apple Pay – How is it for You?
Like we said above, there’s no doubt about how seriously Apple takes security… but the XcodeGhost headlines will have been less welcome than ever during the infancy of Apple Pay. Let’s face it, after family and friends the one thing people are most protective about is their bank account and there are lots of people who have an issue trusting even “old-fashioned” contactless cards.
So this train of thought got us thinking how have things been going for Apple Pay since it launched?
Anecdotal evidence to date has been mixed – in one weekend I saw one Facebook friend proclaim “never again” and radio personality Sara Cox wasn’t doing much to endorse the product on Twitter:
But on the positive side it seems that many people are desperate for more. A recurring theme on social networks is that of customers calling out the small number of banks which are yet to embrace the service to get a move on. It could be a game changer for many retailers too – Morrisons supermarkets aren’t often seen as trendsetters but their checkouts are all proudly displaying the Apple Pay logo now, whereas the superpower that is Tesco is looking increasingly isolated with its clunky old chip and PIN devices (they don’t even accept regular contactless payments!)
For more on the early days of Apple Pay we recommend this article in The Drum, where guest columnist Andrew Darby trialled the service for a week.
All Eyes on Uber
We liked the cheeky wee remark about Uber that appeared in the latest update of The Simpsons Tapped Out app – see it at the bottom of this post.
It’s funny, but Uber seems to have become one of the most talked about apps on the planet. Here in the UK alone it’s been hitting the headlines as a hero (the go to when the London Underground goes on strike) and a villain (the scourge of the hackney taxi driver). Many people now just talk about “booking an Uber” instead of “booking a taxi”.
For a full picture of the scale of this phenomenon, check out this round up of Uber’s usage statistics and revenue that appeared in Business of Apps last week. Just one of the awe-inspiring figures to feature in the article: “Uber is expected to process $10.84bn in bookings in 2015”.