Software Pirates Violating Apple's Developer Program Rules, Distributing Hacked Apps

Making basic sense of Apple’s next iPhone in 2019

The report notes that the issue begins with Apple's lax requirements for accepting companies into its enterprise program, which is exclusively meant for corporations to permit staff to aspect-load apps for inside use. The modified versions of the apps allow iPhone users to avoid adverts, fees, and game rules.

Apple, for its part, maintains that it will disable the enterprise certificates of companies found to be abusing them and remove offending distributors from the iOS Developer Program entirely if the situation calls for it.

"Downloading modified versions violates the terms of service of nearly all major apps", Reuters snuffled. Apple offers those enterprise certificates so businesses can test apps internally without having to publish them to the App Store first, so obviously, the way Facebook and Google were using them doesn't really line up with their intended objective.

Apple stated that those who get certificates and are trying to trick the company will have their certificates terminated and will be removed from the Developer Program completely.

"There's nothing stopping these companies from doing this again from another team, another developer account", said Amine Hambaba, head of security at software firm Shape Security.

Apple is also addressing the abuse of its Developer Program by two-factor authentication be turned on by the end of the month for all accounts using the service. These illegal distributors did not comment on the matter.

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Niantic, which makes Pokemon Go, said players who use pirated apps that enable cheating on its game are regularly banned for violating its terms of service; Microsoft Corp, which owns the creative building game Minecraft, declined to comment.

Pirates reportedly managed to get altered versions of popular apps onto the App Store.

Pirated app distributors such as TutuApp, AppValley, TweakBox, and Panda Helper offer free, hacked versions of normally paid software such as Minecraft and Angry Birds. In other cases, they offer versions of free apps minus the ads.

Unlike Android devices, iPhones would typically block attempts to install apps from sketchy, unverified sources. While Apple Inc is losing revenue, its customers could, for example, stream music without ads, once they download the illicit app versions.

Some of the pirated apps were banned last week, but a few days later, they reappeared on the system by using different certificates. China Mobile did not respond to requests for comment.

Unfortunately, Apple has no way of tracking apps that are signed with enterprise certificates. Early on, hackers "jailbroke" iPhones by modifying their software to evade Apple's controls, but that process voided the iPhone's warranty and scared off many casual users.

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