Hackers find free downloading of Conde Nast iPad mags possible

An interesting story reported by The Huffington Post suggests Condé Nast iPad Apps have a critical flaw that can allow those inclined to change a preference file, making it possible to download new issues of magazines for free.

The New Yorker

An interesting story reported by The Huffington Post suggests Conde Nast iPad (and iPhone) apps have a critical flaw that can allows anyone inclined to change a preference file to download new issues of magazines for free.

Conde Nast publishes iOS versions of its popular magazines including GQ, Vogue, Wired, and The New Yorker. The hack, which is really just a simple set of instructions, was developed by the Italian "research group" Dark Apples.

Interestingly, Adobe finds itself in the middle of this security issue. Adobe manages Conde Nast's iPad apps and is most likely responsible for the oversight.

Using any popular iOS management software (i.e., iPhone Explorer) you need only to find a preference file and change a single line to crack the paid download structure:

"Copy the .plist file that manage the download information and correct a single field. This boils down to changing a single word: Where it says "purchasable" you write "viewable" instead, and copy back the file on the iPad. Now all you need to do is click on "delete" the magazine issue on the iPad app and a "download" button will appear instead of the "buy" button. It means you can download the magazine for free." -The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post has confirmed that this simple process works on the Italian newspaper issues that the Dark Apples group tested, as well as on Conde Nast's iPad apps for The New Yorker and Wired. Adobe has issued an updated version of its Digital Content Viewer for publishers to fix the issue. New versions of the apps should be available shortly.

 

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