Pirates use Apple tech to put hacked apps on iPhones

Apple iPhone users in the U.S. spent 36% more money on apps last year

Pirates use Apple tech to put hacked apps on iPhones

Turns out is not just Facebook and Google who are misusing Apple's Enterprise Certificate Program to distribute apps which would not pass Apple's App Store approval process.

The pirate developers are breaking rules which state apps can only be distributed to the public through the App Store. By downloading the modified versions of the apps, you don't take into account the terms of service of all the apps.

The pirates appear to have figured out how use digital certs to get around Apple's carefully policed App Store by saying the apps will only be used by their employees, when they're actually being distributed to everyone. 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 goal.

Some of the pirate developers were banned by Apple last week, but were reportedly back up again within days using different certificates.

Apple has now said it will get tougher on the rogue apps by bringing in two-factor authentication - using a code sent to a phone as well as a password - to log into all developer accounts by the end of the month. Pokemon Go developers Niantic have a three-strike discipline policy to address users caught cheating in the game. Microsoft Corp, which owns the creative building game Minecraft, declined to comment.

Apple could be facing major monetary loss due to activity of software pirates who have hijacked the required technology to distribute apps like Angry Birds, Pokemon Go, Minecraft and Spotify.

The distributors make money by charging $13 or more per year for subscriptions to what they calls "VIP" versions of their services, which they say are more stable than the free versions. TutuApp distributes Minecraft for free, a game that normally costs $6.99 in the App Store.

All it can do is cancel the certificates if it finds misuse. AppValley offers a version of Spotify's free streaming music service with the advertisements stripped away. Since these apps are not going through Apple's App Store screening, there is a higher chance they may contain malware or tracking software. Spotify (which is cracking down on ad blockers) declined comment, while none of the others immediately responded to the request.

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