"You Stole this (iPhone) Game!"

Developers are fighting back against iPhone app piracy. Users who have downloaded pirated copies of the game Time Bomb have begun to receive the message "You stole this game! Since this isn't a legal copy of the game, it is not going to function properly.

Tools such as Crackulous have allowed iPhone piracy to become a rampant practice. The program, which can be installed on jailbroken phones, can remove DRM protection from virtually any App Store application, allowing it to be installed on unlimited devices (and shared with other users) after an initial purchase. This development, among others, has prompted Apple to deem jailbreaking an illegal practice.

Now, developers are fighting back. Users who have downloaded pirated copies of the game Time Bomb have begun to receive the message "You stole this game! Since this isn't a legal copy of the game, it is not going to function properly." It would appear that developers have, however temporarily, devised a method to obviate current app cracking routines.

Ripdev offers developers a third-party protection service that works to prevent piracy. The company says "With Kali Anti-Piracy your application is being wrapped in the additional layer of protection engineered by experts in Mac OS X and iPhone OS architectures, giving potential hackers much harder time in achieving the precious 'crack.' Moreover, we are constantly monitoring the current trends and news in the underground hacker communities to make sure Kali AP stays on top of the 'competition.'"

It is unclear whether Time Bomb is using Ripdev's anti-piracy measure.

iPhone Atlas exclusively reported last year that Apple has included a blacklisting mechanism in iPhone OS 2.x via which the device can phone home, check for unauthorized applications, and disable them. The OS includes a URL that points to a page containing a list of unauthorized applications. It does not appear Apple has yet invoked this mechanism, however, and the only anti-piracy measures enacted

Feedback? iphoneatlas@cnet.com

 

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