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Canonical Introduces Manual Review Process for New Snaps

Fallout from the malicious Snap apps: Canonical now enables human review for each new Snap.

In response to recent security concerns related to malicious applications masquerading as legitimate cryptocurrency wallets on the Snap Store, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu and the Snap Store, has announced significant changes to its package submission process.

Moving forward, all new package names submitted to the Snap Store will undergo manual review before being activated. This decision comes after a series of incidents where fraudulent applications slipped through automated checks, posing as official clients of well-known cryptocurrency wallets.

To combat such deceptive practices, Canonical will now require developers to fill out a questionnaire detailing the purpose and source of their application upon registering a new package name.

New form for registering a Snap
New form for registering a Snap

Once submitted, each application will undergo thorough manual review by Canonical’s team to identify and eliminate any suspicious names, particularly those attempting to impersonate established projects. This manual verification process is expected to take up to two business days, ensuring that only legitimate and safe applications make their way onto the Snap Store platform.

“The security of our users is of the utmost importance,” said a Canonical spokesperson. “By implementing this manual review process, we aim to provide a more secure and trustworthy Snap Store experience, where users can be confident that the applications they download are legitimate and safe.”

Next week, Canonical will be publishing a comprehensive policy regarding the publication of cryptocurrency wallet and other sensitive Snap packages. This policy will outline the guidelines and requirements for developers wishing to publish such applications on the Snap Store.

These changes are part of an ongoing effort by Canonical to improve the security and reliability of the Snap Store. The company has stated that this manual review process is not intended to be a long-term solution, and they will continue to update the community on any further developments or improvements to the Snap Store’s security measures.

Via Snapcraft forum announcement

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