Apple warns that changes to iPhone sideloading will increase cyber threats

In an effort to comply with European Union regulations Digital Markets Act (DMA), Apple is make changes to iOS, Safari, and the App Store which would open up its walled garden to support third-party app stores (and apps) and non-Apple payment processing options, as well as allow default web browsers other than Safari.

These changes will also include, among other things, more than 600 new APIs.

According to Apple, these additions and changes, such as allowing sideloading of apps not controlled by Apple, pose a greater risk of malware, fraud, scams, and harmful content, among other issues. Apple says it is mitigate these threats providing notarization for laterally ported iOS apps and disclosure of alternative payments, although some risks will remain.

“The changes we are announcing today comply with the requirements of the Digital Markets Act in the European Union, while helping to protect EU users from the inevitable increased threats to privacy and security that this regulation brings,” Apple colleague Phil Schiller said.

The DMA aims to regulate large digital platforms such as app stores, messaging services, and search engines (these categories are otherwise known as “gatekeepers”), in an effort to prevent monopolistic behavior. Apple reports that it will release resources in March to help guide EU users through the changes being made and best practices to avoid potential risks. The changes won’t extend beyond Europe, so it’ll be business as usual for Apple users in the US and elsewhere.

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