Roughly 70 apps are currently in the app’s review process, but a ban could be placed on up to 50.
Cybersecurity firm Norse says the problem is indicative of Apple’s fuzzier compliance practices with alleged Russian cyber-attacks on the United States, and its open attitude to dealing with Russian companies.
Google is embroiled in its own anti-Russian crackdown at the moment with its Store ban on Alexey Pushkov’s Pervsion Cyber City. Pushkov was the deputy head of Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee.
Pervsion was also found to have covert Russian ties, and classified as a “monitoring system”. The software was acquired by a company that Pervsion hired to develop a store to “monitor Russian attempts to disrupt the US”.
“The evidence pointing to Russian malware activity on US election websites and system logs is mounting,” writes Norse’s Ted Parrish. “Apple and Google are facing a ticking time bomb of Russian malware and intent to covertly influence the USA.”
It would not be the first time that Google or Apple has found itself at odds with the Kremlin in response to Russian hacking.
In January, Apple banned Russian-made Stuxnet, from being sold in Apple stores. Stuxnet was the main tool used in the creation of Stuxnet, an infamous virus which targeted Iranian nuclear facilities in 2007.
Sceptics are still on the look out for evidence that Russian malware is being sold on the App Store, but say the anger is more about Apple’s own fixation on market share and improving revenue than Russia’s alleged attempts to meddle in the US.