Urgent Apple piracy warning to all iPad and iPhone users – see if you’re at risk

Anyone with an Apple iPad of iPhone has been issued an urgent warning due to possible privacy and security concerns over apps on the App Store.

One of Apple's former developers, Kosta Eleftheriou, has told of how the App Store hosts several illegal film streaming services.

Called Fleeceware, it also includes casino apps hidden inside children's games and a “factory” of iOS scam apps.

Some of the apps require premium subscriptions, paid for using Apple Pay, which Apple receives a 15-30 percent cut from.

Mr Eleftheriou said: “While Apple is failing to police its App Store, these apps have amassed over two million downloads and are now generating $6 million per year.”

The apps often appear to be genuine, and use screenshots from actual film trailers as a way of promoting that they have the rights to genuine films – but they are actually illegal streaming sites, much like using torrents to download films on a PC.

However, just 24 hours after the discovery of these apps, Apple contacted Forbes to claim that they had removed all of the illegal apps he had discovered.

Gordon Kelly, a tech expert from Forbes, said: “I have checked the URLs for these apps and can confirm that the listings have gone.

“Apple deserves praise for the speed of its response time in this instance.

“The company did not reveal whether it will be returning funds to users tricked into subscribing to these apps nor whether it will be returning profits taken from their sale.

“Ultimately, concerns remain that so many of these apps continue to get past the company's App Store approval process — safeguards which have previously been seen as 'bringing a plastic butter knife to a gunfight'.

“Clearly, a lot more needs to be done if Apple is to live up to its lofty protection pledge.”

The Daily Star has contacted Apple for comment.

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