Apple Developer: App Store Security Is Like Bringing ‘Plastic Butter Knife to a Gunfight’

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks with attendees during an Apple product launch event at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California on September 10, 2019. - Apple unveiled its iPhone 11 models Tuesday, touting upgraded, ultra-wide cameras as it updated its popular smartphone lineup and cut its entry price to $699. (Photo …
JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

According to recently released legal documents, a senior Apple engineer compared the company’s App Store defenses against malicious actors to be like “bringing a plastic butter knight to a gunfight.” The senior employee also described the company’s review process for new apps as “more like the pretty lady who greets you… at the Hawaiian airport than the drug-sniffing dog.”

The Financial Times reports that as part of a recent lawsuit between Fortnite developer Epic Games Inc. and Apple, internal comments from a senior Apple developer about the company’s App Store security have been revealed.

Epic Games revealed in recent court documents that a senior Apple engineer compared the company’s App Store defenses against malicious actors and hackers to “bringing a plastic butter knife to a gunfight.”

The anecdote was cited by Epic Games in court documents and was based on internal documents quoting Eric Friedman, the head of Apple’s Fraud Engineering Algorithms and Risk unit.

Friedman also stated that Apple’s App Store review process for newly submitted apps was “more like the pretty lady who greets you… at the Hawaiian airport than the drug-sniffing dog.” Friedman was also quoted as saying that Apple was ill-equipped to “deflect sophisticated attackers.”

The comments from the senior Apple developer could hurt Apple’s case against Epic Games as the company argues that the 30 percent fee it charges on digital purchases within apps downloaded from the App Store is required to protect customers from malware and malicious apps.

Breitbart News recently reported that the iOS app developer Kosta Eleftheriou, who has previously called out Apple for its failure to properly police its app store and the prevalence of scam app across the platform, has filed a lawsuit against the hardware giant in California. Eleftheriou is accusing the company of exploiting its monopoly power over iOS apps “to make billions of dollars in profits at the expense of small application developers and consumers.”

Eleftheriou began highlighting the growing issue of scam apps available in the Apple App Store in February. Each of the scam apps Eleftheriou found appeared to use the same method including boosting their apparent legitimacy in the app store by purchasing fake reviews.

Eleftheriou is also of the developers of the Flesky keyboard app which was acquired by Pinterest, and Blind Type which was acquired by Google.

Eleftheriou alleges that after he reported that his FlickType app had been targeted by a scam clone, Apple failed to fix the issue while the scam app took away potential sales and negatively affected his App Store ranking.

Read more at Breitbart News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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