Mac App Store downloads are easily pirated

By on January 7, 2011, 9:30 AM
Apple's much-anticipated Mac App Store made its debut yesterday, promising to bring the streamlined process of purchasing, downloading and updating software from iOS devices to the Mac. But just a day after opening for business several groups claim to have found flaws that allow unauthorized apps to pass as legit Ė and itís surprisingly simple. Some have reported that copying a paid app from someone elseís computer does the trick, while itís also possible to obtain apps illegally from third party sites and replace some of its package contents with ones from free apps.

Doing this the apps will appear as if they have been purchased from the app store and even presumably get update notifications. Apparently the hack only works for apps that don't fully implement Apple's recommended verification techniques, so itís up to developers to take make sure their software isnít susceptible to this simple trick. Apple could also test for this in its application approval process to avoid such issues.

Meanwhile a group known as Hackulous, which has previously broken the copy protection systems used by the iPhone and iPad, says it has developed a program called Kickback that can break the protection on any piece of App Store software. They donít plan to release their work until at least next month when the store's been established, because they ďdon't want to devalue applications and frustrate developers.Ē

User Comments: 7

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Guest said:

Sounds like that hacking group is very concerned about the developer community and only has everyone's best interests in mind . . . sure, that's it!

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Guest said:

Sounds like that hacking group is very concerned about the developer community and only has everyone's best interests in mind . . . sure, that's it!

Actually, that sounds about right. Good observation.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I thought piracy was something Mac users did not do.

Isn't loading up pirated software completely antithetical to the walled garden paradigm they so love?

Maybe piracy, like viruses, does not exist in the Mac world? Weird.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

This actually makes me very happy! Yes, sadistic, but oh, so gratifying!

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Most applications I've seen on the Mac side are very easy to pirate - but as gwailo247 said, it goes against the grain of most Mac user behavior. If you're willing to pay so much for the hardware every 2 years or so (they're pretty much useless after 2-3 years) then you'll probably pay for the software you want on it. The main people I'd be worried about are the Hackintosh type of user.

Cota Cota said:

If you come to think it for a moment, a bunch of developers cant fight to who knows how many hackers.

Its like a chihuahua fighting a doberman.

yRaz yRaz said:

my only piracy argument is "stop making overpriced garbage and people wont want to steal much."

Is there anyone who is willing to pay for district 9? I'd feel insulted if i bought the DVD...or if someone bought it for me.

I guess it is just the mac mentality that if you buy overpriced hardware it stands to reason that you are willing to buy overpriced software. Nickel and dime us with 99cent apps....IT'S BS!!!

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