ALERT! – Touch ID Scam Apps – ALERT!

Published On December 31, 2018 | By Tom Huskerson | Alerts

Scam apps have begun appearing on the App Store that is using your Touch ID to rip you off.

Posing as health assistants these malicious apps are urging users to use the Touch ID before they show certain features such as a calorie counter, a heart rate measurement, or other seemingly legitimate function. However, once you scan your fingerprint the apps quickly shows an in-app purchase pop-up then quickly dims the screen so you can’t see the prompt. The app then charges you from $90 to $120. Even if you refuse to use Touch ID to enable a feature the app asks you to tap to continue and leading the user to another the in-app payment scam instead.

According to Stephen Cobb senior security researcher at ESET, “As soon as you put your finger on there, it starts scanning, so it’s ready and acting very quickly. Someone cleverly figured out they could use the way the Touch ID is implemented to get people to do things that they don’t want to do.”

The apps in question, innocently named “Heart Rate Monitor,” “Fitness Balance app,” and “Calories Tracker app,” have been removed from the App Store. It’s unknown if the suspect apps came from separate developers or someone operating multiple developer accounts. Regardless, the perpetrator did not use malware but instead applied knowledge of how people use Touch ID.

What makes this scam so dangerous is that Touch ID is used for more than just unlocking your iPhone. Touch ID is used for Apple Pay and for authentication on various apps. The function is quick and effortless meaning the user won’t think twice about using it when an app asks them to.  Touch ID has no secondary confirmation when you do put your finger on the home button. The scammer knew this. 

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About The Author

Tom Huskerson Bio Born in Richmond Virginia Tom Huskerson is a military veteran who settled in California after his discharge. Tom attended Santa Barbara City College where he began his writing career as a campus reporter. He worked as an intern news reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press writing feature stories before moving on to San Francisco. At San Francisco State University Tom studied broadcast communications and began to focus on the Internet. He completed his graduate thesis on Internet advertising. Tom was the first student to ever focus on the Internet as a graduate student at San Francisco State University. After graduation he went to work for Zona Research in California’s Silicone Valley. As a research associate Tom supported senior analyst writing on the latest developments in the Internet industry. During the dot com boom Tom worked for several web businesses as a market researcher and analyst. As a writer and researcher Tom has authored various technical works including a training program for Charles Schwab security. Other projects included professional presentations on workplace violence and hiring security contractors. Tom has also written both fiction and non-fiction works and blogging for a travel website. He has published two books of short stories and completed two novels. Tom is the owner of Scribe of Life Literature and Tom is not the chief editor for the OnTechStreet. com. A news and information blog that focuses on tech news for African-Americans. The blog is the result of his desire to inform the African American community of the dangers and benefits of the cyber age. In his blog Tom reports on information security, new and analysis, scams and hoaxes, legal happenings and various topics that arise from the age of information. Tom believes that technology is a necessary tool for black people and they should know what is happening. Tom writes believing that techno speak is for the professional and that valuable information can be communicated using plain language. As a result he has embraced the motto, Less Tech, More Knowledge.

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