Feeds

Mac App Store giving away pay apps for free

Angry Birds vendor now even angrier

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Security oversights mean that many of the applications in Apple's newly launched Mac App Store can easily be obtained without payment.

A significant number of developers have disregarded Apple's advice on validating App Store receipts before making their software available through the store. As a result, many applications can be pirated.

Applications bought through the store can be modified to run by any Apple user (not just restricted to a specific Apple ID, prompting users to log into an account associated with a sale) without any further purchase. The omitted App Store receipt technology would have prevented this.

Popular application Angry Birds, for example, only checks for a valid receipt (of any type) and not whether this is a receipt for a purchase of this software tied to a specified account. A receipt from any legitimate Mac App Store download - including applications that come free of charge – will allow a bootleg download of Angry Birds to run, as explained here.

As things stand, some Mac App Store developers are potentially out of pocket while Apple misses out on its percentage from legitimate software sales. The App Store, launched along with the publication of OS X 10.6.6, provides a portal for the sale of desktop Mac applications. Customers benefit because it restricts the number of firms with which they are obliged to share their payment details.

The snafu also raises concerns that applications – modified to include back doors – might be uploaded to the App Store.

"Some applications downloaded from the App Store can easily be modified to include any sort of executable code you wish," warns Sophos security consultant Chester Wisniewski. "It wouldn't surprise me to see a surge in markets for pirated applications that might just be booby-trapped to include unexpected surprises." ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.