“Let’s Get the Third Party Started In Here,” – Latest Hacking News | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

This March marks a pivotal moment for Apple, as they roll out iOS 17.4 in alignment with the EU’s Digital Markets Act (the DMA). For the first time since the launch of the App Store in 2008, Apple is opening the doors of its iOS platform to third-party app stores.  

This groundbreaking change means users can now install apps from beyond the Apple App Store, as long as these new platforms meet Apple’s approval criteria. This update not only provides users with more app choices that might not fit Apple’s stringent guidelines but also allows them to designate alternative marketplaces as their preferred sources.

 In a broader push for flexibility, Apple is also breaking new ground by supporting browser engines other than WebKit. With this update, users setting up Safari for the first time on iOS 17.4 will have a broader selection of browsers to choose from. The App Store itself is evolving to embrace game streaming services worldwide, reversing its previous restrictions. 

Competition Elevates the Game

The introduction of competition in the app store arena is set to ignite innovation, encouraging companies to distinguish themselves through novel features and improved app discoverability. This new landscape will also offer developers varied distribution channels, better negotiation outcomes regarding fees, and a fair playing field in the mobile app realm.

DMA Takes a Bite of the Apple (or not…) 

As Apple stands to gain no direct financial benefit from these third-party apps, the incentive to prioritize their security may diminish. This could, paradoxically, work in Apple’s favor, sparing them the expense of securing external apps. Plus, any user disillusioned by security breaches in these third-party apps might very well return to the safer haven of the iOS App Store.

BSTS: Avoiding Cyber Trouble in the Mobile App Jungle 

Yet, this shift towards third-party app stores and sideloading presents a significant challenge to Apple’s ability to ensure consistent security. Apps from outside the iOS ecosystem might introduce critical security risks or malware. If these threats slip through on-device security screenings, they could endanger user’s devices. 

 Pradeo Security, a company that specializes in mobile security, predicts that mobile app safety is about to be put to the test. In light of this major change, it seems like cybersecurity is more important than ever before for mobile app users. So, it’s about time to think about how we as end users can protect ourselves from potential dangers third-party app stores may bring. 

1. Guard against clone counterfeit apps 

Pradeo names clone apps which are copies of legitimate services as the biggest threat to users’ safety in the context of third-party app stores. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much impossible for the end-user to detect a clone app as most of them look legit. Clone-app detecting services may be a good solution. 

2. Less is more 

Embracing the philosophy of “less is more” could be the key to digital safety and efficiency. This approach advises against cluttering your devices with unnecessary apps. Take file conversions, for example. If you need a Word to JPG converter and especially if it’s a one-off, you might be better off with online services you’re familiar with or at least reputable ones. No need for an app for every little task.

3. Look for social proof 

It’s always been smart advice to check out user ratings and reviews, but now, with third-party downloads in the mix, that advice is golden. Here’s a head-scratcher for you: a malicious app recently found on the Google Play Store racked up over 100,000 installs but didn’t have a single review. Odd, right? This just goes to show that user reviews, or a total lack thereof, speak volumes. 

4. Browse reports of mobile security companies  

Keeping an eye on updates from mobile security companies can be a game-changer for staying safe. Diving into reports from cybersecurity powerhouses, such as Pradeo Security, SafetyNet, or Avast can give you a heads-up about potential digital pitfalls. This way you can learn from other people’s mistakes and avoid making your own, which we all want to do at all costs, especially in the context of cyber safety. 


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