Longtime iOS hacker and developer Stefan Esser (@i0n1c) released an app in the last week that basically let you know if your phone had been secretly hacked. The diagnostic tool would show detailed info on installed apps and running processes as well as any jailbreak info it found (in case some security hole had been exploited, your phone jailbroken without your knowledge and your data in turn compramised). Apple approved the app once already. It was in the store. It was available for all. And now it’s gone.
In a rejection note from the App Store team, Apple said (TNW):
detecting weaknesses or problems in a user’s phone wasn’t allowed, and could lead to “potentially inaccurate and misleading diagnostic functionality for iOS devices.”
ITTimes points to another and probably Apple’s biggest concern for pulling the app here:
Apple’s biggest concern with the app arises from its ability to display the process list for all the services running secretly on the device, which is a serious privacy violation.
As Esser notes on his Twitter account, 1) it is the end users’ choice to decide what is or isn’t “useful” (since his app was a paid app) and therefore “worth” the cost and 2) there are countless diagnostic tools that do much of if not the same thing.
As other people have also brought up, the overall pulling of the app is not surprising given Apple’s notoriously poor review process and judgement therein. The reasons they used however, are suspect in that (as pointed out above) other apps do it in various ways and amounts and remain available.
If the biggest reason for the app pull is indeed because of secret services Esser’s app revealed, it should ultimately not matter. Esser’s statement says it perfectly – “people should have rights to know what is running on their own device”.
More: IB Times