Feeds

Mac App Store giving away pay apps for free

Angry Birds vendor now even angrier

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Arts and crafts store Michaels says 3 million credit cards exposed in breach
Meanwhile, Target investigators prepare for long process in nabbing hackers
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.