Software pirates are using enterprise developer certificates to put hacked versions of popular apps on iPhones. An investigation by Reuters found illegitimate versions of apps such as Spotify, Angry Birds, Pokemon Go, and Minecraft have been distributed away from the App Store. The modified versions of the apps allow iPhone users to avoid adverts, fees, and game rules. However, they are in violation of Apple’s developer program which stipulates the apps can only be distributed via the App Store.
Illicit software distributors such as TutuApp, Panda Helper, AppValley and TweakBox have found ways to use digital certificates to get access to a program Apple introduced to let corporations distribute business apps to their employees without going through Apple’s tightly controlled App Store. Using so-called enterprise developer certificates, these pirate operations are providing modified versions of popular apps to consumers, enabling them to stream music without ads and to circumvent fees and rules in games, depriving Apple and legitimate app makers of revenue.