San Francisco: The Apple application store malware which was a part of an application that was collecting users adress book contacts has been removed.
"The Find & Call app has been removed from the App Store due to its unauthorized use of users' Address Book data, a violation of App Store guidelines," Apple said. "Find & Call" was first reported on Monday by Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab, which said it was alerted to a suspicious app both available in Apple's App Store and Google's online store Google Play that had been collecting users' address book contacts and sending them to the developer's servers.
The developer's system then sent spam text messages of the app's URL to those contacts, which are shown to be sent "from" the original user's mobile phone number. According to the screenshot before the application was removed, all user comments, both in Apple's App Store and Google Play are quite angry, complaining that the application sends SMS (Short Message Service) spam.
The app so far only targeted Russian users since it uses Russian in the app description, but the app was available in App Store around the world. "Malware in the Google Play is nothing new but it's the first case that we've seen malware in the Apple App Store. It is worth mentioning that there have not been any incidents of malware inside the iOS Apple App Store since its launch 5 years ago", said the Kaspersky Lab in its blog.
The lab noted that it is the first time that they confirmed a case of malicious usage of users' personal data. Also on Thursday, several popular apps in Apple's App Store, including Angry Birds Space HD Free and GoodReader, which have been updated over the last few days, have been crashing immediately upon launch.
"We are aware of the issue related to apps crashing after update. We are currently working on resolving the issue. Stay tuned for updates," said a statement posted with the username "iTunesConnect" in Apple's developer forum.