iOS App 'UVLens' Apparently Hacked, Sends Out Very Inappropriate Notifications [Updated]

An iOS App Store weather app called "UVLens" this morning sent out highly inappropriate pornographic notifications to all of its users, suggesting the app may have been hacked or otherwise compromised in some way.

There are dozens of complaints from users on Twitter who received the notification, which was in no way weather related and was explicit enough to shock users who received it.


UVLens is a simple app designed to provide hourly UV forecasts for those who are concerned about their sun exposure. It is a general use app and it's quite possible that it could have been downloaded by children given its 4+ age rating.

UVLens appears to have sent out the notification to all of its users given the volume of tweets, and one person said that when she tapped the incoming notification, it tried to open a secondary window.

MacRumors was alerted to the issue by editor Mitchel Broussard, who has been using the app for more than a year. Prior to today, the app worked well and sent out no inappropriate content to users. We've never before seen reports of an app sending out notifications like this, so it's rather unusual.

Apple does not appear to have a solid reporting system in place for instances like this, as we discovered after the notifications went out. UVLens has not yet commented on the situation.

There's a "Report a Problem" website for reporting issues with recently purchased iOS apps, but it does not work with older purchased apps that suddenly go rogue. There's no report button in the ‌App Store‌ for individual apps, no option when 3D Touching an app on the Home screen, and no clear support path for alerting Apple about problematic apps.

We have contacted the UVLens developer, and multiple people have been sending complaints on Twitter, so the app may be removed from the ‌App Store‌ or fixed in the near future.

For now, customers who have installed UVLens will likely want to delete the app because it's not clear what's going on and if there has been a breach of some sort.

Update: UVLens sent out another notification, apologizing for the explicit push notification. The company says that it was not from the UVLens team and is being investigated.


Update 2: UVLens tells MacRumors that a third-party push notification service that it uses was compromised, allowing a spammer to send out inappropriate notifications through the network, including to UVLens users. UVLens says that steps were taken to prevent it from happening again and no app software was compromised.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
8 months ago

Google just allows anything onto the Play Store... oh, wait...

Hurr durr this very likely isn't in the actual code, but the app servers themselves being hacked and sending out push notifications. The same thing could happen to literally any app.

being ignorant is one thing but trying to **** all over apple because you don't know any better is ridiculous and only people that share that lovely quality will agree with you (looks like they already did)
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago
Boss: I want our app on the front page of every tech blog by the end of the week.

Marketing team: Hold my beer.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago
Ha ha this is hysterical
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago
Disgruntled employee?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago
Google just allows anything onto the Play Store... oh, wait...
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
8 months ago
I thought the single ecosystem fanboys said this wasn't possible
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Acquires Weather App Dark Sky

Tuesday March 31, 2020 10:22 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has acquired weather app Dark Sky, Dark Sky's developers announced today. Dark Sky is one of the most popular weather apps on the App Store, known for its accuracy and storm warnings. Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy. There is no ...

Seemingly Unreleased Version of Logic Pro X With Live Loops Appears on Apple's Education Site [Updated]

Sunday March 29, 2020 7:23 am PDT by Hartley Charlton
Update: Apple has replaced the Logic Pro X image with an older version. Original story follows. A seemingly unreleased version of Logic Pro X has appeared on Apple's education site, as spotted by a Reddit user. The image from Apple's education products page shows a 16-inch MacBook Pro running Logic Pro X, but with a familiar interface that looks extremely similar to GarageBand's Live Loops ...

Bloomberg: Apple's 5G iPhone Still on Schedule for Fall Launch, But Future Products Could Be Delayed

Monday March 30, 2020 2:40 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple's 5G iPhone is still on track to launch within the company's typical annual fall release schedule, according to a new Bloomberg report on filed on Monday. Signs are that Apple's Chinese-centric manufacturing -- of which Hon Hai is the linchpin -- is slowly getting back on track. The next iPhones with 5G wireless capabilities remain on schedule to launch in the fall, partly because mass...

Case for Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Shows Up at Best Buy With Alleged April 5 Stock Date

Monday March 30, 2020 4:25 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has a new low-cost iPhone in the works, which is supposed to be launching sometime in the first half of 2020. Given the ongoing situation in the United States and other countries, it's been unclear if the device is going to launch within the planned timeline, but there are signs that it could be coming soon. We started seeing cases for the new low-cost iPhone back in early February,...

Testing Brydge's New Pro+ Keyboard With Trackpad for iPad Pro

Monday March 30, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Well ahead of when Apple introduced trackpad support in iOS 13.4, Brydge announced an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in multi-touch trackpad. We have one of Brydge's new Pro+ keyboards on hand, and thought we'd check it out to see how it works with Apple's new 2020 iPad Pro models. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Brydge Pro+ keyboard is similar in design to...

Apple's Work on New Upcoming Products Progressing Normally as Employees Adjust to Telecommuting

Monday March 30, 2020 11:58 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's development of upcoming products is progressing as usual despite the fact that Apple employees around the world are working from home, according to a new report today out from Bloomberg. Apple is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released "as early as later this year" and have been...

Apple Releases ProRes RAW Beta for Windows

Monday March 30, 2020 9:33 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released ProRes RAW for Windows in a beta capacity (via Mark Gurman), with the software designed to allow ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ video files to be watched in compatible applications on Windows machines. According to Apple, the software will let the files be played within several Adobe apps: Adobe After Effects (Beta) Adobe Media Encocder (Beta) Adobe Premiere...

2020 iPad Pro Teardown Provides Closer Look at LiDAR Scanner and Confirms Incremental Update

Saturday March 28, 2020 9:56 am PDT by Hartley Charlton
iFixit today shared a video teardown of the new iPad Pro, which Apple unveiled earlier this month. iFixit found that most of the internals of the 2020 iPad Pro are the same as the 2018 model, confirming that the device is a relatively incremental update. The most notable new feature seen inside the new iPad Pro was the LiDAR scanner, which measures the distance to surrounding objects up...

Apple Configurator 2 Updated With New Features, Including Support for Restoring Firmware on 2019 Mac Pro

Tuesday March 31, 2020 5:34 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple Configurator 2 has been updated to version 2.12 with several improvements, including support for restoring firmware on the 2019 Mac Pro. The release notes:• Added support for restoring firmware on the 2019 Mac Pro • Allow access to websites using TLS 1.0 and 1.1 • VPN: Configure Provider Designated Requirement for Custom SSL connection type • VPN: Configure network options for ...

U.S. Government Using Mobile Ad Location Data to Track Compliance With Curbs on Movement

Monday March 30, 2020 4:48 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
The U.S. government is using smartphone location data from the mobile ad industry to track people's movements amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Local governments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have received the anonymized data about people in areas of "geographic interest," with the aim being to create a portal of geolocation...