Mac App Store appears, security broken

So Apple have finally made available their much-heralded and much downloaded App Store for OS X. As usual with any Apple product it is “revolutionary” and it’s already done 1 million downloads in 2 days. Most popular so far is Apple’s own Aperture photo editing application, mostly because it has had a massive price cut on the App Store.

But despite Apple’s rigorous approval process for the 1,000+ apps available at launch, it appears some paid for apps have [already been exploited[( to be available for free.

The way it is supposed to work is that App Store apps are provided with a signed digital receipt when they are downloaded. This confirms that paid apps have been paid for, and so on. However, it is up to the developer of the application to verify that the receipt is in place and correctly signed. It appears some developers haven’t been able to get this right, with many popular paid for apps (including Angry Birds) available for free simply by obtaining a copy of the code somewhere online, and copying in the digital receipt from another application.

Not all paid apps are affected – only those that don’t check the receipt as per Apple’s guidelines. You would have though they would have checked that in their rigorous approvals process…

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