Mac App Store cracked within 24 hours

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Well, that didn't take long. Just a day after opening for business, Apple's Mac App store appears already to have been cracked by pirates.

The App Store opened yesterday with around 1,000 apps, both free and paid. But, as AppleInsider points out, hackers have already worked out that it's possible to install and run unauthorized apps by copying the receipt files from a free app. Users can apparently just download paid apps from a third party site where the app doesn't do any receipt checking, and replace the receipt and signature files.

There's details of how to get Angry Birds for free on Pastebin, here - and it's not difficult. However, the hack only works for apps that don't fully implement Apple's recommended verification techniques - Angry Birds implements some, but not all.
 
But this may not be the store's only vulnerability. In December, a hacker called Dissident - a mamber of Hackulous - claimed to have created a software tool called KickBack that would allow a user to pirate any app in the store.

But, Dissident told Gizmodo, "It'll probably take months for the App Store to actually have a bunch of crappy applications and when we feel that it has a lot of crap in it, we'll probably release Kickback. So we're not going to release Kickback until well after the store's been established, well after developers have gotten their applications up."

The word is that this is likely to be next month.