Reports of Mac App Store piracy emerge on launch day - report

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Within hours of Apple opening the Mac App Store, reports surfaced of software 'pirates' having figured out how to install and run unauthorized paid apps by copying the receipt files from a free app.



Apple has battled piracy for years on the iOS App Store, trying to stay one step ahead of hackers. With the opening of the Mac App Store on Thursday morning, Apple has yet another digital storefront to protect.



On the day of the store's launch, reports emerged that a simple cut-and-paste workaround had been discovered that illegally 'cracks' some paid apps. Crackers apparently found that replacing the receipt and signature files in some paid app packages, which can be downloaded from third-party sites, with the receipt from a free app allows the app to run in some cases.



According to John Gruber of Daring Fireball, the vulnerability exists only in apps that don't follow Apple's app validation advice. For example, some apps check only for a valid receipt, without checking whether the receipt matches the app's bundle ID.



Beyond the simple file replacement crack, some hackers claim to have cracked Apple's security for the Mac App Store, according to Gizmodo. In late December, one hacker known as Dissident announced that the crack, named KickBack, would not be released "until well after the store's been established" in an effort to 'protect' developers. "When we feel that [the Mac App Store] has a lot of crap in it, we'll probably release Kickback," said Dissident.



Though developers reported support for Mac App Store receipts in early builds of Mac OS X 10.6.6, there's no evidence that the Mac App Store was broadly or externally tested by Apple.



Some early adopters reported being unable to download and install apps Thursday shortly after the Mac App Store went live. A number of users have also complained about the quality of the apps available on the store, with one user going so far as to start a parody site that criticizes apps with awkward user interfaces.



For more details on the Mac App Store, see the AppleInsider feature:

First look: Apple's Mac App Store simplifies buying, updating software
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    tofinotofino Posts: 697member
    while i don't think it has much to do with the app store (bad interfaces have been around for a while), there are some atrocious examples on the site referenced in the article:



    http://readthefuckinghig.tumblr.com/
  • Reply 2 of 48
    Yes following directions will help..... in this case from getting your app pirated.
  • Reply 3 of 48
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    "A number of users have also complained about the quality of the apps?



    I wonder what that number is, vs. the number who are happy with their purchases?
  • Reply 4 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    According to John Gruber of Daring Fireball, the vulnerability exists only in apps that don't follow Apple's app validation advice. For example, some apps check only for a valid receipt, without checking whether the receipt matches the app's bundle ID.



    That's the developer's fault. Case closed.
  • Reply 5 of 48
    That's bad karma for taking down the Wikileaks app and you can expect more from where that bad karma came from. Expect more software leaks.
  • Reply 6 of 48
    jensonbjensonb Posts: 530member
    I can't help but notice Gizmodo is the site really pushing this story. Their headline is clearly written to give the impression the Store is - right now - wide open to hackers.



    When do you think they are gonna get over "you know what"?
  • Reply 7 of 48
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Seems like a roaring success on Day 1 with 1000 apps. Pretty solid coverage, too, with CES in full swing.



    Prediction: A competitor(s) will offer a desktop OS app store that will open with more apps and grow faster after the success of the MAS making people compare the two and claiming that Apple’s MAS surely must suck in comparison.
  • Reply 8 of 48
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    almost as many apps as windows phone 7
  • Reply 9 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tofino View Post


    while i don't think it has much to do with the app store (bad interfaces have been around for a while), there are some atrocious examples on the site referenced in the article:



    http://readthefuckinghig.tumblr.com/



    Fail.



    The owner of this site has no room to criticize others as his site is number one for the lack of grade-school spelling and grammar. He doesn't seem to know where the shift key is, where apostrophes are needed, along with childish comments unworthy of reading.
  • Reply 10 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post


    Fail.



    The owner of this site has no room to criticize others as his site is number one for the lack of grade-school spelling and grammar. He doesn't seem to know where the shift key is, where apostrophes are needed, along with childish comments unworthy of reading.



    Are you kidding? The joke is certainly a parade of some of the worst designs on the Mac App Store. The "voice" of this site is surely intentional.
  • Reply 11 of 48
    Those App UIs on the HIG site deserve to be panned. Those are awful UI layouts.
  • Reply 12 of 48
    Wow, I am surprised that apps are being pirated this quickly! I didn't realize that there was a jailbreak available for the mac.
  • Reply 13 of 48
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • Reply 14 of 48
    well, mac app store looks like opening illegal port. from now, hackers can easily make mac viruses more than ever. no virus on mac? time changed.
  • Reply 15 of 48
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by edwardryu View Post


    well, mac app store looks like opening illegal port. from now, hackers can easily make mac viruses more than ever. no virus on mac? time changed.



    Which ?illegal port??
  • Reply 16 of 48
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Well there is lot of piracy outside the app store, and it's better that holes are being reporten now rather then when a lot more people start using it. I just hope apple does not take it too far in checking weather apps outside the store were gotten illegally, as that might put an end to the whole store concept on the Mac and hurt smaller developers.
  • Reply 17 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by edwardryu View Post


    well, mac app store looks like opening illegal port. from now, hackers can easily make mac viruses more than ever. no virus on mac? time changed.



    This hardly even qualifies as english!



    Nothing has changed as far as malware on the Mac goes. All we have here is crackers doing what they do just like the usual and untested\\busted DRM software in the app store. It doesn't suddenly mean we'll have a flood of viruses.This has nothing to do with viruses.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post


    Wow, I am surprised that apps are being pirated this quickly! I didn't realize that there was a jailbreak available for the mac.



    How can there be a mac jailbreak if there was no "mac jail" to begin with?



    Anyway about the "bad interfaces" all I'm seeing here is the developers changing their app's interface just for changes sake so it'll be obviously new in the app store. They don't have to change the interfaces if they don't want to. Either way I don't know what people are expecting when buying an app from the app store... a huge difference from what they usually get?
  • Reply 18 of 48
    so how am I to know which app used the apple validation tool?

  • Reply 19 of 48
    jon tjon t Posts: 131member
    There is another point to be made on this subject.



    Apple is doing to software what it did with music downloads - making them affordable enough to make pirating a pointless risk not worth taking.



    And in my opinion it succeeds. I have bought a few apps off the MacAppStore I would never have bought previously (and neither would I have pirated them!).
  • Reply 20 of 48
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,334member
    I don't remember last time I was casually browsing for apps for my Mac the last time.

    Oh man... all this junk! And these crazy prices. Bejeweled 3 for $19?? What are they thinking?? It's like 20x the price of the iPhone version of Bejeweled 2.



    If they release this hack, it'd be great if they were clear with the message, like with a slogan or something.

    - Pay for quality. Hack the crap



    It would be even cooler if they hacked the app store to accept the money of your choice. If you think it's worth $10, then pay $10. If you think it's worth $1 the pay $1.
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