Snap Store Now Requires Manual Review for the Apps

Snap Store takes action against malicious app uploads, implementing a manual approval policy for new applications.

Snap Store is a platform similar to Flathub but owned and managed by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu. It’s a centralized app store where Linux users can download and install various applications (snaps) on their devices. The platform is designed to make software installation easier and distro-agnostic.

Unfortunately, the Snap Store’s reputation has recently been significantly damaged due to an influx of cryptocurrency scams. These scams were made possible because the Snap Store has a policy that allows new applications (known as snaps) to be uploaded without undergoing a review process, as long as they only request permissions considered to be relatively harmless.

However, that will no longer be the case. The company is making significant changes to Snap Store’s policy to stop scam apps from reaching users. Holly Hall, product lead at Canonical, shared a message about this:

As an immediate measure, we have decided to change the snap name registration flow. As a result, when you register a new snap name, you will experience a different workflow, where manual review is required.

Holly Hall, Product Lead at Canonical | Ubuntu

In other words, here’s how things will go. First, you’ll be asked to enter the name of your snap app and a brief comment about what it does or what it’s for. After you submit all the needed details, your snap will undergo a review process.

The engineering teams at Canonical will check the information you provided to see if anything seems off. They might also contact the developer for more details. If everything checks out, the snap app will be approved for use in the Snap Store.

Plans are to process each request for adding a new application within two business days. In conclusion, with this move, Canonical did something similar to what Flathub, their main competitor, did proactively a month ago.

Lastly, it’s a good idea that the KDE project follows suit, especially after a recent incident in which a global theme uploaded to their KDE Store led to the loss of user data.

You can check the post on the Snapcraft forum to find out more about the updates to the Snap Store app upload policy.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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