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iPhone apps hiding malware
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Security & privacy

iPhone malware: Check your phone for these 7 apps

Android phones seem to have a higher risk of picking up malware. It’s not because Apple devices are immune. It’s because there are so many Android phones in the world they are targeted more by cybercriminals. Tap or click here for signs of Android malware.

A new group of apps caught hiding malware proves that Apple products aren’t immune. The cybercriminals behind the bad apps were so sneaky that they slipped them past Apple’s strict security protocols in its Apps Store.

Keep reading for a list of malware-ridden apps to delete ASAP.

Here’s the backstory

Security research Alex Kleber found seven apps in Apple’s App Store with questionable coding. While it initially seemed like seven different developers, he connected all the apps to one group in China. In a blog post explaining his investigation and research, most apps have built-in command-and-control (C&C) tools.

This is typical with malware, letting a hacker (in this case, the developer) execute remote commands from a central server to the apps. The threats include recording calls, grabbing screenshots or capturing login details. The C&C method is popular with hackers as it’s tough for app store owners to detect.

Here is the list of apps hiding malware:

  1. PDF Reader for Adobe PDF Files
  2. Word Writer Pro
  3. Screen Recorder
  4. Webcam Expert
  5. Streaming Browser Video Player
  6. PDF Editor for Adobe Files
  7. PDF Reader

Kleber also found that several apps had fake reviews on the App Store to inflate their popularity. For others, there are “multiple spams of the same applications to gain as much market share as possible in some niches.”

What you can do about it

Even if the offending apps were removed from Apple’s App Store, they could still be on your device. Check the list of bad apps and delete any you have on your gadget. There are a few more precautionary steps you can take to avoid malware. Here are some suggestions:

  • Before downloading an app, read the reviews or comments to see if others have had problems. Make sure the reviews don’t all sound the same. If they feel fake, stay away.
  • Never give away more information than needed, and check which permissions an app requires. For example, there is no reason why a weather app needs your email address or telephone number. Tap or click here for ways to check app permissions.
  • If you think that an app could be malicious, don’t wait. Report it to Google or Apple immediately so that they can investigate. It is often through user reports that malware gets flagged and removed.
  • Ensure that you update your phone’s operating system to the latest version. New versions add security features to minimize theft of your data.
  • Always have a trusted antivirus program updated and running on all your devices. We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV. Get an annual plan with TotalAV for only $19 at That’s over 85% off the regular price!

Keep reading

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