Apple Mac App Store has piracy vulnerability

Careless coding and a lax review process by Apple could make it pretty simple to steal certain select applications from the brand new Mac App Store that launched yesterday.

BY THE NUMBERS: Apple: Mac App Store hit 1 million download mark in 24 hours

The problem is that if an application - so far it's just the Angry Birds puzzle video game - doesn't check whether the Mac App Store receipt data entered to activate it actually corresponds to that app, it will activate it anyway so long as it's a valid receipt for any application.

This is not a problem for applications that make the check properly. It could be avoided altogether if Apple's review process before approving applications for sale included verification that the check is done right, says blogger John Gruber in his Daring Fireball blog.

Apple actually recommends how to set up the receipt checks properly, but it is up to individual developers to follow through.

According to online instructions, in order to carry out the theft, a person has to first obtain a copy of the application somehow plus a valid Mac App Store receipt for anything. They then plug in the receipt data and if the application doesn't check that the receipt refers specifically to the application itself, the data will activate the app.

Apple hasn't issued a statement yet about the weakness.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags AppleNetworkingwirelesssoftwaremobile apps

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Greene

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?