Technology

Apple clamps down on App Store on-device cryptominers

Apple clamps down on App Store on-device cryptominers

To keep its hardware, think iPhones, from draining battery or computing power, Apple has now forbid app developers from including any 3 party advertisements that run cryptocurrency mining. That's 52.2 Million news homes for the wealth of App Store apps that are being created, under these new Apple guidelines.

Apple also has an existing section addressing cryptocurrency apps on its App Store that's been in place since about 2014. The move comes at a time when 'cryptojacking', a malware attack wherein malicious attackers scrumptiously hijack a computer or a phone's computing power to mine cryptocurrencies, is a growing menace.

"Apps should not rapidly drain battery, generate excessive heat, or put unnecessary strain on device resources", the company stated in the paragraph banning cryptocurrency mining processes from running in the background.

Mac and iOS users haven't been targeted as much as web servers and Windows users, who've taken the brunt of most coinmining malware campaigns, but Apple has seen at least one incident in March when a cryptocurrency miner slipped on the Mac App Store inside the Calendar 2 app by Qbix. Any apps that facilitate ICOs, futures trading or other securities must be provided by established banks, securities firms and futures commission merchants (FCMs).

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Such extensions will still work with Safari 12, but being depreciated means it's only a matter of time until support is dropped entirely, at which point only Safari App Extensions will work.

Wallets coded by developers enrolled as an organisation are also allowed, as are apps that facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrencies, provided these are offered by the exchanges in question.

Apple has been pushing extension developers toward Safari App Extensions for a few years now.

After the cryptominer was found to contain buggy code that made CPU usage on users devices spike, Apple pulled Calendar 2 from the macOS App Store. The company took this step after hidden cryptocurrency mining has become the most popular cybercrime trend among malware developers this past year. Finally, cryptocurrency apps can't offer currency as a reward for downloading other apps, posting to social networks or encouraging other users to download apps.