Cybersecurity experts are worried about the consequences of a Supreme Court ruling that customers can sue Apple for pricing on its App Store, claiming that it could eventually lead to more unsecured apps being sold to consumers.
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a group of iPhone users can continue their class action lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the company's monopoly on downloading apps from the App Store is driving up prices.
The case will now prevail However, there is a danger in court that Apple may be forced to allow users to download apps from third-party groups, not just the App Store.
Experts warn that the scenario could lead to a higher rate of malware infections through apps for Apple's iOS devices.
Cyber experts are seeing this problem on Android phones. Users can easily download third-party apps, resulting in a much higher malware rate on Android phones than on iOS phones.
Renaud Deraison, co-founder and chief technology officer of cyber-exposure company Tenable, told The Hill that Apple's current "rigorous" app review process in App Store has minimized the amount of malware for iOS users.
"While Apple's review process appears to be restrictive and arbitrary in some cases ̵
"If it were Apple To have third-party app stores, the likelihood of malware-enabled apps is high, as we've seen on multi-store platforms, and this level of autonomy is definitely not in the customer's interest."
Apple did not respond to the request for comment on this story, but the company made a statement after the Supreme Court had ruled to defend its App Store practices and reject it. There was a monopoly.
"We are proud to have created the safest and most trusted platform for customers and a great business opportunity for all developers around the world," said the company % commission of the company for sold apps started. However, the unintended cyber consequences have received little attention.
JT Keating, vice president of product strategy at mobile security firm Zimperium, compared the Supreme Court ruling with a "Rubik's Cube" with consumer choice on the one hand and security of apps on the other.
Keating found that Apple prevented many malware infections on its devices by reviewing both the developers of an app and the app itself, while Google only explores the security of the apps.
There was always an open ecosystem and it was very easy to get into third-party app stores, "Keating said. "The vast majority of malware comes from these uncontrolled app stores, and if Apple is forced to give users the option to go anywhere, it most likely reflects the results we get on the Android side." 19659002] Keating estimates that, according to research by Zimperium, about 4 percent of Android devices are currently infected with malware.
Jeff Greene, vice president of cybersecurity global affairs at cyber group Symantec, agreed the lack of app security to Android devices and the potential for a higher rate of malware infections on iOS devices when Apple's case loses.
"The Google Play Store is pretty well curated, but even there you can see more if it's a really malicious app, more so than the Apple Store," Greene told The Hill. "With a well-curated App Store, a relatively high level of security could be maintained."
In a report released in 2017, Symantec found that Android devices outperformed iOS devices in terms of reported mobile security risks. However, the report also found that overall the number of malware attacks on mobile devices has increased.
If Apple were forced to allow its users to download third-party apps, cyber experts said there were options to ensure user safety. Equipment.
But that would also mean that Apple takes new precautions.
"The most important thing they need to do is make sure there are no security holes," Greene said. "You need to make sure your operating system is as secure as possible, and security tools for iOS devices are available."
Google currently uses the Play Protect service to protect more than 2 billion users daily. The program, which is an integrated malware protection service for Android devices, is described by Google as "getting better in real time" through machine learning algorithms.
Keating praised this system and urged Apple to think of something similar.
"You need to come up with more systematic approaches to assessing your entire ecosystem, much like Google," Keating said.
"They provide a proactive service for reviewing apps." Keating added.
"Apple will have to throw a wider network to achieve this."