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Apple just banned hundreds of information-gathering applications from the App Store, all of which come from developers located in China. The apps were using an SDK from an advertising company called Youmi, which has apparently been operating in the app market for quite some time.

The apps were pulling information like Apple IDs, device serial numbers, and what apps were installed on the phone. Though the apps are gone, the question remains of how long they’d been operating and how long Youmi specifically has been targeting personal information.

SourceDNA, the service whose original report got the apps pulled from the store, points out that Youmi has been experimenting with ways to get around Apple’s safeguards for nearly two years (at least). They also mention that, in the regards to the ads that were just pulled, those developers might not have been aware of what Youmi’s SDK was doing as the data goes straight to Youmi’s server.

Apple is now working with those developers to get their apps back up in the store minus Youmi’s malicious SDK.

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