In the detailed account of its security triumphs, Apple disclosed that nearly 3.9 million stolen credit cards were stopped from being used for fraudulent in-app purchases. Furthermore, 714,000 accounts were banned from conducting further transactions, which helped Apple amass the staggering $2 billion figure in preventing fraudulent activity.
In its efforts to uphold App Store standards for privacy, security, and content, Apple rejected almost 1.7 million app submissions. Out of these, 400,000 were turned down due to privacy violations, 153,000 were discarded for spamming, mimicking existing apps, or deceiving users, and 29,000 were declined for incorporating hidden or undocumented features.
On top of this, Apple terminated 428,000 developer accounts for potential fraudulent activity and blocked 105 million fraudulent developer account creations. It also deactivated 282 million fraudulent customer accounts and barred an additional 198 million before they could be established.
Apple attributed the decrease in fraudulent developer account terminations in 2022 compared to 2021 to the implementation of “new methods and protocols” aimed at making fraudulent account creation more challenging. The company claims to have safeguarded users from “nearly 57,000” apps sourced from “illegitimate storefronts” known for distributing harmful software. Apple also managed to block over 147 million fraudulent ratings and reviews on the App Store, thereby protecting customers from being misled by bot-generated reviews.
These revelations about Apple’s App Store security prowess come amidst increasing pressure to permit iPhone and iPad users to install apps outside the App Store through “sideloading” or alternate app marketplaces. The European Union has already passed legislation obliging Apple to allow external App Store installations, a feature expected to be rolled out in Europe with iOS 17. The United States is also considering similar legislation.
However, Apple warns that such mandates could compromise the privacy and security protections that iPhone users depend on, and potentially enable the proliferation of “malware, scams, and data exploitation”.