Software Pirates are also abusing the Enterprise Hole in Apple's Walled Garden

Joanna Estrada
February 15, 2019

In other cases, they offer versions of free apps minus the ads.

You may be tempted to go find these third-party distributors to get a few pirated apps, but be warned. They have released modified versions of normally paid apps for free.

Apple the enterprise certificates of both when the company became aware of the breach of its terms.

Developers of "pirate" apps have distributed hacked versions of popular iPhone apps such as Spotify, Minecraft, and Pokémon GO, according to a Reuters report. In doing so, they are enriching themselves at the cost of Apple and the original developers.

In a of last month, Techcrunch also discovered that Facebook and Google were using this enterprise developer workaround in order to distribute VPN "research" apps to its users in order to collect data.

This is a clear violation of Apple's developer program rules, which state all apps must be distributed through the App Store. Now, bad actors are being blamed for finding a way to distribute pirated iOS apps to iOS users. 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.

Believe it or not, there's more to the Enterprise Certificate abuse story than Facebook and Google's user privacy intrusions and all those illegal hardcore porn and gambling apps running wild on iPhones around the world without proper authorization. Apps available to sideload from websites included Swag, PPAV, Banana Video, iPorn (iP), Pear, Poshow and AVBobo, RD Poker and RiverPoke, all of which violated Apple's content policies.

It is unclear how much revenue the pirate distributors are siphoning away from Apple and legitimate app makers.

One possible solution is for Apple to require two-factor authentication to log into all developer accounts. Microsoft Corp, which owns the hit game Minecraft, also declined to a request to comment. However, they quickly sprang back using different certificates from other developer accounts. Since these apps are not going through Apple's App Store screening, there is a higher chance they may contain malware or tracking software. Sadly, it seems like this will ultimately make life more complicated for legitimate members of the Developer Enterprise program.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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