Apple Executive Says App Store Fraud Checks Are Like ‘Bringing Butter Knife in Gunfight’

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 9 Apr 2021

iPhone App Store

A senior Apple executive has claimed that Apple’s App Store fraud checks are of no use, and are like ‘bringing a butter knife to a gunfight.’

Recently, internal documents of the Epic Games’ lawsuit on Apple were leaked. In the documents, senior Apple executive of the company’s Fraud Engineering Algorithms and Risk department Eric Friedman was cited for the two damning quotes about Apple. Financial Times has released a report saying:

A senior Apple engineer compared the defences of its App Store against malicious actors to “bringing a plastic butter knife to a gunfight”, according to legal documents released on Thursday.

The anecdote, which was cited by Fortnite maker Epic Games ahead of a highstakes antitrust trial in California next month, was based on internal Apple documents quoting Eric Friedman, head of the company’s Fraud Engineering Algorithms and Risk (FEAR) unit.

In the papers, Friedman also likened Apple’s process of reviewing new apps for the App Store to “more like the pretty lady who greets you . . . at the Hawaiian airport than the drug-sniffing dog”. He added that Apple was ill-equipped to “deflect sophisticated attackers”.

Apple has enjoyed a monopoly over iOS app distribution. Recently, in an interview, Tim Cook proudly claimed that Apple checked every app and content uploaded to the App Store. But Friedman’s comments say otherwise. It seems like Apple enjoys the commission being made due to the fraudulent apps. One of these fraudulent apps was highlighted this week.

Developer Eleftheriou has also been bantering Apple lately. The developer has notified of a number of scam apps on the App Store and has even charged a lawsuit against the company. Epic has been in a long battle with Apple about the malpractices of the App Store, which might end on May 3.

What are your thoughts about the stories being reported about the App Store in the past few weeks? Do you think Apple intentionally lets fraudulent apps enter the App Store? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

[Via Financial Times]