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Apple security allows App pirates to make dosh

by on23 December 2015

Trickledown effect

A feature in Apple's iTunes approval process is allowing pirates to download free versions of paid iPhone apps.

The hole in security is only possible because of Jobs’ Mob’s obsession with censoring apps which cannot be played by a ten-year-old on a bible-belt Christian safari. This means if you want grown-up apps you have to jailbreak your phone.

According to cybersecurity firm Proofpoint vShare has figured out how to get around that by getting their paws on a special, trusted certificate which Jobs’ Mob gives to developers. This means that the apps get a thumbs up from Apple servers if you download them.

vShare pirates managed to get their hands on several Apple enterprise certificates, using them to create a vShare app which is a portal to an app store of its own.

On vShare you get access to all the normal iPhone apps along with everything else.

Proofpoint research executive Ryan Kalember said vShare was like those Apple Stores that opened in China that look exactly like Apple Stores -- but aren't.

On its site, vShare claims: "We respect intelligent property and devote to protect the right of authors. If you consider your right has been violated, please contact us by providing related documents. We'll remove such contents immediately."

So far no one has been able to contact them. Public Internet records say the website has been registered to someone by the name of Huang Tao in Shanghai.

Proofpoint said vShare has been cycling through four different Apple-issued certificates to pull off its feat, and Proofpoint reported the issue to Apple which has so far done nothing.

Last modified on 23 December 2015
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