Service for pirating iOS apps abruptly closes, cites 'stagnant' community

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A prominent service for jailbroken iPhones that served up stolen iOS App Store applications abruptly closed on Sunday, marking a major victory for Apple in the war on piracy.

Hackulous


The "Hackulous" website was updated with a statement on Sunday revealing that the service was gone for good. The letter revealed that the community for stolen applications had become "stagnant," and its forums were a "ghost town."

"It has become difficult to keep them online and well-moderated, despite the devotion of our staff," said the Hackulous team. "We're incredibly thankful for the support we've had over the years and hope that new, greater communities blossom out of our absence."

Hackulous was an application that could be installed on jailbroken iOS devices. It was used in connection with another service, called Apptrackr, which served up cracked applications via a Web interface.

Strangely, Apptrackr also abruptly shut down and cited a lack of activity. But the timing of the two closings was viewed as suspicious by TorrentFreak, who spoke with two people familiar with both sites' operations who were "surprised" at the closings.

"The sites were apparently healthy and still had plenty of users," author 'enigmax' wrote. "Indeed, the shutdown statement appears to carry a contradiction ??'ghost town' forums are by their very nature not particularly difficult to keep 'well-moderated' since nobody uses them."

The site also claimed that Hackulous was installed on "millions" of devices, and those users were presented advertisements every time they used the software. A potential reason for the shutdown could be related to rumors that there may not be a jailbreak for Apple's latest iOS 6 mobile operating system.

Jailbreaking is a practice that allows users to run unauthorized code on devices like the iPhone and iPad. While jailbreaking can allow users to simply make changes not allowed by Apple, such as custom themes and unauthorized applications, it can also be used to pirate iOS software.

For years, Apple has played a "cat and mouse" game with the iOS jailbreaking community, attempting to plug holes and fix exploits used by hackers. The company even went as far as to censor the word "jailbreak" among iTunes Store content temporarily in May of this year.

While jailbreaking can be used to perform illegal activities, such as stealing applications through Hackulous when the service was active, jailbreaking itself is not illegal.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 89
    There's plenty of alternatives to choose from. After doing a quick search online, I now use vshare. It operates out China so I doubt it will be shut down anytime soon. It's actually better than Installous. More sources and higher download speeds will continue to allow me to keep getting games and other apps for free. I own 4 Apple devices and all of them are jailbroken for the sole purpose of getting apps for free. I have never paid for an app and I never will. It's not about apps being 99 cents and are easily affordable. I pirate because it is easy to do and I can get away with it. No Feds will come knocking on my door, I'm in Beijing.
  • Reply 2 of 89
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    No one take the bait above.....
  • Reply 3 of 89


    Look out your window.

  • Reply 4 of 89
    Karma is a real bitch.
  • Reply 5 of 89
    Easy explanation: the sites owners got a new iPhone5 and since those are not jailbreaked, they could not side load applications on their iPhone5, hence abandonned the jailbreak community.
  • Reply 6 of 89
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    olivierl wrote: »
    Easy explanation: the sites owners got a new iPhone5 and since those are not jailbreaked, they could not side load applications on their iPhone5, hence abandonned the jailbreak community.

    More likely explanation. They received a formal letter from Apple's attorneys and decided that this was the easiest way to save face.

    Not to mention, of course, that they were never a major player. If Cydia were to close down due to lack of interest, that would be a real story.
  • Reply 7 of 89
    Their funding from Samsung ran out.

    Good riddance, I say. Only a$$holes install pirated Apps anyway.
  • Reply 8 of 89
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member


    Well that's good. I admire hacker culture but it's supposed to be about coming up with cool inventions not about stealing from other developers.

  • Reply 9 of 89
    [B]Good Riddance![/B]
  • Reply 10 of 89


    Dev team blog is also offline. I think they seal team 6'ed these guys. ....and a happy new year.....

  • Reply 11 of 89
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member


    I had not even heard of the site until this story. Not that I have been terribly interested in jailbreak for any reason - yes I have been tempted a couple times in order to add features that are not supported by Apple or available via officially approved Apps. 

  • Reply 12 of 89


    Originally Posted by daratbastid View Post

    Dev team blog is also offline.


     


    No…

  • Reply 13 of 89
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,413member
    Well I'm an a$$hole then. I've done it and am proud of it. Know why? Odds are I've paid for more apps than most. There isn't a demo system with iOS. You have to blindly purchase apps. Some devs put out free versions, and I applaud them. I never pirate if there is a demoable version of sorts. There are many in my group that are the same way.

    Either way, IMO, the scene has died down a ton since iOS 6. That's fine and not a big deal. Just wish we could get demos and ad versions easily.

    Btw, I'm also a developer which is how I learned about these methods.
  • Reply 14 of 89
    19831983 Posts: 1,185member
    Never heard of Hackulous until this article, Cydia I have. Another possible reason contributing to this maybe Android - that OS and the phones that run it are now so much better than they used to be, maybe many of these Hackulous types have just migrated to it. Customization and free apps aplenty on that platform.
  • Reply 15 of 89


    Originally Posted by 1983 View Post

    …free apps aplenty on that platform.


     


    By this you mean piracy, yeah?

  • Reply 16 of 89
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    emig647 wrote: »
    Well I'm an a$$hole then. I've done it and am proud of it. Know why? Odds are I've paid for more apps than most. There isn't a demo system with iOS. You have to blindly purchase apps. Some devs put out free versions, and I applaud them. I never pirate if there is a demoable version of sorts. There are many in my group that are the same way.
    Either way, IMO, the scene has died down a ton since iOS 6. That's fine and not a big deal. Just wish we could get demos and ad versions easily.
    Btw, I'm also a developer which is how I learned about these methods.

    The problem is that if the developer wanted you to be able to try their app, they can easily do it. By taking it without permission, you are violating the offer that the developer is making.

    I guess Ford shouldn't mind if I go down and take one of the cars from the dealership and drive it for a month, right? After all, their test drives are far too limited for my taste, so I should have the right to demand that they give me what I want rather than what they want, right?

    That said, I did have to jailbreak a phone once. When I dumped AT&T and switched to Straight Talk, AT&T agreed to unlock the phone since the contract was expired. Unfortunately, the phone still did not work with Straight Talk, so I had to jailbreak it to make it work. Fortunately, when I upgraded to iOS 6, that was no longer a problem and jailbreaking was not necessary.
  • Reply 17 of 89
    By this you mean piracy, yeah?
    LOL. The cool kids call it 'warez' yo? The Z makes it 1337. Which is how cool kids spell their forum handles.
  • Reply 18 of 89
    jragosta wrote: »
    The problem is that if the developer wanted you to be able to try their app, they can easily do it. By taking it without permission, you are violating the offer that the developer is making.
    I guess Ford shouldn't mind if I go down and take one of the cars from the dealership and drive it for a month, right? After all, their test drives are far too limited for my taste, so I should have the right to demand that they give me what I want rather than what they want, right?
    That said, I did have to jailbreak a phone once. When I dumped AT&T and switched to Straight Talk, AT&T agreed to unlock the phone since the contract was expired. Unfortunately, the phone still did not work with Straight Talk, so I had to jailbreak it to make it work. Fortunately, when I upgraded to iOS 6, that was no longer a problem and jailbreaking was not necessary.

    You can demo a car. Or, you with pretty much every physical product you buy in the store you can return it if you don't like it. Apple really needs to include this in their App Store. There a plenty of apps I won't even try because there is no trial period. However, if they allowed me to try it for two weeks or 10 uses or whatever and if I wanted to use it again after that I got a modal window saying I need to pay for it from the App Store I would likely be trying and buying a lot more apps. I think it hurts developers by not having this option.

    I did emig647 did back when TomTom was new to iOS and cost $100. I tried it, I liked, it but the lack of the option for backgrounding App Store apps meant it wasn't going to work for me. I deleted it and then bought it from the App Store as soon as that option and update came along.
  • Reply 19 of 89


    Wouldn't matter...cause Dev team no longer exists to jailbreak.

  • Reply 20 of 89
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,687member


    Good riddance.


     


    As I've stated many times in the past, I still say that most people who jailbreak are losers and thieves, regardless of what some might claim. 


     


    If you can't afford to purchase 99 cent apps, then go buy a shitty Android phone, you low class moron. 

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