CUPERTINO, Calif., Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Apple has deleted hundreds of apps that were accessing and storing users' personal information.
Most of the apps were Chinese and had been downloaded by about 1 million users. Apple deleted them Monday.
Security blog SourceDNA identified the apps Sunday, saying they had successfully passed the app review process despite having the capability of obtaining a phone's serial number, those of its peripherals, a user's AppleID and a list of the apps installed on the mobile device.
The apps all linked to the Chinese Guangzhou Youmi Mobile Technology Co. advertising company and its software development kit.
SourceDNA identified 256 programs that Youmi allegedly used to store the information on its server. Apple said the apps constitute "a violation of our security and privacy guidelines" and that future apps using the Youmi SDK would be banned.
The developers of these apps, who chose to use the Youmi SDK to write their programs, never saw the data being obtained through their apps since it was routed directly to Youmi.
To that end, Apple said it would work closely with developers to render updated versions of the app fit for resubmission to the app store.
The company issued an apology Tuesday, saying it would work with Apple to resolve the issue.
It also said it respects privacy rules and that the storing of data was set up to keep advertisers and developers against fraud. It criticized claims that said the data storage constituted a security breach and told developers whose Youmi SDK apps were taken down from Apple's App Store that they would be compensated.
The company website was also offline Tuesday. Company spokeswoman Ping Jie told the Wall Street Journal a malicious attack was the culprit but that no further details were known.