iTunes Theft

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    Posted: 27 August 2012 09:28 PM

    I’m wondering if anybody else has any info on this topic.  I just emailed Tim Cook to express my concern (though I’m sure it’s not news to him).

    I heard my kids’ friends today talking about how they can get “FREE STUFF” from iTunes, like apps and movies!  At first I thought, yeh, sure, big whoop, but then started thinking that if the word really got out more, then there’d be (even) more fodder for the FUDsters and naysayers as well as more people trying to pry their way in.

    Apparently, a “really smart kid” jailbroke my kids’ friends’ iPads (2) and installed some sly software that now gets them unfettered access to iTunes.  They were really proud of their thievery!  And they mentioned that this smart kid had performed his magic on about forty other iPads.  Hmm.

    The question: is this just of limited scope - like shoplifting and product “creep” at the retail level?  Or is it more widespread and an issue we’ll be hearing more about soon . . .

    Anybody?

         
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    Posted: 27 August 2012 09:48 PM #1

    It’s common enough and of concern throughout the developer world.

    At this point, quiet moral authority is the way to get thru the kids heads.  I don’t believe the heavy immediate stick method will work.  Think carefully for a week or two what you would say to your kids and their closest associates.

    If you would like to hear more on this, we can bring this up on private message.

         
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    Posted: 27 August 2012 10:24 PM #2

    In the mean time, get that kid a employment contract smile

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    Posted: 28 August 2012 12:19 AM #3

    Long Term Ted - 28 August 2012 12:28 AM

    I’m wondering if anybody else has any info on this topic.  I just emailed Tim Cook to express my concern (though I’m sure it’s not news to him).

    I heard my kids’ friends today talking about how they can get “FREE STUFF” from iTunes, like apps and movies!  At first I thought, yeh, sure, big whoop, but then started thinking that if the word really got out more, then there’d be (even) more fodder for the FUDsters and naysayers as well as more people trying to pry their way in.

    Apparently, a “really smart kid” jailbroke my kids’ friends’ iPads (2) and installed some sly software that now gets them unfettered access to iTunes.  They were really proud of their thievery!  And they mentioned that this smart kid had performed his magic on about forty other iPads.  Hmm.

    The question: is this just of limited scope - like shoplifting and product “creep” at the retail level?  Or is it more widespread and an issue we’ll be hearing more about soon . . .

    Anybody?

    It’s not a new discovery, and the kid didn’t really do any novel hacking.  Jailbreaking is easy - he only has to download a program from the Internet, plug in his iPad/iPhone, and press a button. 

    Once an iOS device is jailbroken, Cydia can install Installous, and the user can download cracked apps. 

    But the key to getting free apps this way is that the iOS device must be jailbroken. 

    It is a “special” time right now because it is possible to jailbreak iOS 5.1 (the most current version of the OS) on all iOS devices.  This was not always the case.  In fact, the most recent hardware versions (iOS devices with A5 chips) are a lot more secure and jailbreaks for it were only available since May 2012 (whereas the hardware had been available for more than a year in the iPad 2).

    However, if they want to upgrade to iOS6 in Sept, they must give up all their pirated apps as it’s not likely that a jailbreak will be available for it when iOS6 is launched worldwide.

    It’s a cat and mouse game that’s been played for decades, just like pirated software on computers.  Apple is aware of the jailbreak community, and vice versa.

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  • Posted: 28 August 2012 01:31 AM #4

    Long Term Ted, your original post suggests that content is being downloaded from the iTunes Store without paying for it. This is not the same as being able to download apps, movies and music from other sources (legal or not), because the device is jailbroken.  This would have to be a back door way of completing downloads without paying. Maybe a back door used for testing inside Apple.

    I would expect all such downloads to be logged at Apple. Against the apple ID, which is linked to a credit card and thence to a real person. If it really is possible to download without paying, each time someone does it, they risk a criminal prosecution, and with credit card info and geolocation data etc, Apple has a good chance of finding them.

    There’s a big difference between breaching the security on the device (jailbreaking), and breaching the security of Apple’s servers. The latter is far more serious.

         
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    Posted: 28 August 2012 02:13 AM #5

    Thanks, moltenfire and sleepygeek. 

    “Once an iOS device is jailbroken, Cydia can install Installous, and the user can download cracked apps. “

    Yes, that’s what I saw on their iPads.

    “Long Term Ted, your original post suggests that content is being downloaded from the iTunes Store without paying for it. This is not the same as being able to download apps, movies and music from other sources (legal or not), because the device is jailbroken. “

    Ahh, I get it.  That makes sense - I thought somehow someone had cracked iTunes security.  Oops, my ignorance is showing.  Thanks for the feedback.

         
  • Posted: 28 August 2012 02:43 PM #6

    moltenfire - 28 August 2012 03:19 AM

    It’s not a new discovery, and the kid didn’t really do any novel hacking.  Jailbreaking is easy - he only has to download a program from the Internet, plug in his iPad/iPhone, and press a button. 

    Once an iOS device is jailbroken, Cydia can install Installous, and the user can download cracked apps. 

    But the key to getting free apps this way is that the iOS device must be jailbroken.

    Well. you’re almost right. Having a jailbroken phone can make it easy[er] to install pirated apps, but there is no need whatsoever to jailbreak. Google “ipa god” and “iReSign” and you will see there are entire setups dedicated to pirating apps that don’t need a jailbreak. Since the iPhone only runs software signed by a developer or by apple, people take the apple-signed files and resign it with a developer key, which will let it be run on any phone associated with that account.

    The entire “OMG Jailbreaking enables piracy” is just FUD. For one, there are no ships being boarded by armed men, and for the other, see above grin