Application with access to online pirated movies, sneaked into the App Store as a Sudoku game

Probably no one would have been impressed by the news that an application for pirated online movies has crept into the Google Play Store, but the App Store is a much more strictly controlled environment, Apple stating that each application is manually validated.

According to Apple, the manual review process is able to ensure that only secure and legitimate applications become available to users, who can download and install them with confidence. However, the truth is somewhere in the middle, with some applications well disguised being able to circumvent the validation process anyway.

Another example is Zoshy +, an application for streaming video of pirated content, sent for validation as a Sudoku game. As simple as it is effective, the app’s developers sent it set for its “official” role, and after Apple employees did their job, they activated the hidden functionality from a simple command sent from the server used for streaming video.

Remarkably, it took almost a month for comments regarding illegitimate functionality to access online movies and reports made by bona fide users to alert Apple employees.

It was also helpful that at startup, the application displays for a short time the interface of a sudoku game, after which, if you do not actually start playing you are redirected to the secondary interface, dedicated to video streaming.

The incident comes at a time not exactly right for Apple, the company fighting Epic Games in court for its alleged monopolistic practices in the App Store, the company using as main argument the need to maintain a higher level of quality and security than other platforms.

For now, there are no indications that the Zoshy + application had any purpose other than online movies. However, other apps may also operate clandestinely under the App Store, fulfilling less benign goals such as infiltrating malware applications.

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