Certificate problems causing app authentication errors for some Mac App Store users

Posted:
in Mac Software edited November 2015
Many Mac owners have found themselves forced to delete and re-download Mac App Store apps after what appears to be a certificate expiration error caused the operating system to mistakenly identify the apps as damaged.



The errors variously range from "this app is damaged and can't be opened" to "this app was purchased on another computer." In some cases, users were able to rectify the problem by logging out of and back into the Mac App Store or simply restarting their computer.

In many instances, though, the apps had to be deleted and then re-downloaded. Tweetbot developer Paul Haddad was the first to diagnose the problem as an certificate issue.

Well that would explain the MAS problem. pic.twitter.com/Nuqj9Uxxiz

-- Paul Haddad (@tapbot_paul)


Each of Apple's App Stores require apps to be signed with a valid certificate. This practice allows for increased security -- malicious apps can have their certificates revoked, for instance -- and helps to guard against piracy.

Apple has yet to comment on the problem, though it does not appear to have recurred for users who resolved it once.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    I got the "different computer" notification from the App Store when opening Photoshop Elements 9 yesterday. Following that the application simply would not open, but I didn't receive any "certificate expired" notifications.

    So I reinstalled and now every time I attempt to reopen it goes through the "verifying" process and nothing else. The app still won't open in any form.

    Annoying. Anyone else having the same problem running El Captian?
  • Reply 2 of 17
    Yup. 2 apps did this to me this morning.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,808member
    Looks as tho a reboot will generally correct the problem
  • Reply 4 of 17

    I have rebooted. I have reinstalled. Now, sometimes I get the verification window, sometimes not. Sometimes it just plainly doesn't launch or quit immediately, fast enough to not even see the icon appear in the dock.

     

    What can I do now? I can't take a day off because of that stupid error... grr

  • Reply 5 of 17
    The only app I have encountered a problem with so far is Call of Duty 4. I tried restarted, doing a cold reboot, deleting the app/reinstalling, nothing worked. Still wouldn't open. The very first time I tried opening the app it said I bought it on another computer so I inserted my App store password, but that didn't do anything. I had no idea what the problem was.
  • Reply 6 of 17

    I am running the latest software and still encountered the problem.

  • Reply 7 of 17

    Rebooting has NOT fixed this issue.  I've rebooted 6 times, deleted, re-downloaded and re-installed the apps and still no joy.

  • Reply 8 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,615member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 911tothecore View Post

     

    I am running the latest software and still encountered the problem.




    I am running the latest software and have not encountered the problem.

  • Reply 9 of 17
    I couldn't open Checkbook Pro last night. Initial error was different computer and then nothing at all. I didn't know it was an App Store problem and I contacted support for Checkbook Pro. They sent me a link to a beta version to download that now works.
  • Reply 10 of 17
    That happened to me today, on my MacBook Pro. I shut the computer down, started it back up, and so far it works fine.
  • Reply 11 of 17



    Its criminal. I can't play COD 4.  My only stress relief! I even installed virgin clean OS on external drive and just downloaded my COD.  Didn't work. Sodding barstewards.

  • Reply 12 of 17
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,342member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chrissyj82 View Post



    I got the "different computer" notification from the App Store when opening Photoshop Elements 9 yesterday. Following that the application simply would not open, but I didn't receive any "certificate expired" notifications.



    So I reinstalled and now every time I attempt to reopen it goes through the "verifying" process and nothing else. The app still won't open in any form.

     

    Elements 9 issues here too. iMac on Mavericks.

    I had just changed my iTunes account location so thought there was a link there when it came up saying that the software was bought on a different computer.

    Tried a restart, wifi off, PRAM reset, nothing worked.

     

    Each subsequent time I ran it, it came up with the program was damaged and should be deleted and redownloaded.

    So I did just that but upon running it still said it was damaged.

    So I retrieved it from a Time Machine backup but again, still damaged.

     

    That's when I started up my Macbook pro and the same error appeared, I knew that something odd was happening but also relieved that the HDD on my iMac wasn't failing.

     

    Eventually I bought Elements 14 and it worked fine. Problem is that I burned 4 hours messing with these problems and then paid a lot of money for Elements 14 to do an urgent job, just because Apple screwed up and stopped a piece of software working that I bought previously.

  • Reply 13 of 17
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member
    I had this yesterday, although oddly it didn't affect all apps. Deleting the app for apps and the. Re-downloading the app resolves it for me (rebooting does not). I get no errors. Just a bounce or two if the icon and then it exits with no message. I had also tried logging out and back into the App Store thinking it was an auth error. No luck. The strangest thing is that it doesn't affect all App Store purchases. Only some.

    Surprised something so bad got past test environments.
  • Reply 14 of 17
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,808member
    djrumpy wrote: »
    I had this yesterday, although oddly it didn't affect all apps. Deleting the app for apps and the. Re-downloading the app resolves it for me (rebooting does not). I get no errors. Just a bounce or two if the icon and then it exits with no message. I had also tried logging out and back into the App Store thinking it was an auth error. No luck. The strangest thing is that it doesn't affect all App Store purchases. Only some.

    Surprised something so bad got past test environments.
    Network World explained that only paid apps were generally affected, as well as why it happened in the first place.
    http://www.networkworld.com/article/3004922/security/lapsed-apple-certificate-triggers-massive-mac-app-fiasco.html
  • Reply 15 of 17
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member
    Thanks Gatorguy, although I still have some paid apps that are unaffected for some reason. Very odd issue. You are correct though that all of the affected apps were purchased apps rather than free.
  • Reply 16 of 17



    HI there,

     

    From everything I have heard about El Capitain, dump it!! Not even tech support like it!! It apparently is still in beta.

  • Reply 17 of 17
    So is this problem traceable back to Chinese hackers, Russian hackers, Syrian hackers or the NSA? So many to choose from! /s
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