Pirated iOS app store Installous shutters

A major source for pirated versions of iOS apps went down for good today.

Installous, a major portal for pirated paid apps from Apple's App Store, won't be around anymore.

Development team Hackulous today announced the closure of Installous on their official Web site. As of today, the pirated app store no longer works, and only shows these errors: "Outdated version. Installous will now terminate" or "API Error. API unavailable."

For many years, Installous offered complete access to thousands of paid iOS apps for free for anyone with a jailbroken iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Think of it as being able to walk into a fancy department store, steal anything you want, and never get caught.

Installous made it possible to download the latest iOS applications and games for free from a variety of sources in mere seconds. After downloading an app, users could then install it on their iDevice as if they had purchased it from Apple's App Store. Additionally, during Installous' prime, it wasn't unrealistic to expect expensive App Store apps to hit the pirated app store mere hours after their release.

Hackulous composed a short swan song on its Web site titled "Goodnight, sweet prince" about the closure of the pirate app store:

We are very sad to announce that Hackulous is shutting down. After many years, our community has become stagnant and our forums are a bit of a ghost town. It has become difficult to keep them online and well-moderated, despite the devotion of our staff. We're incredibly thankful for the support we've had over the years and hope that new, greater communities blossom out of our absence.

Regardless of Installous' shuttering, Apple can't breathe easy just yet -- hackers can still download pirated apps quite easily in a number of ways.

Clarification, January 1 at 3:38 p.m. PT: The original version of this story gave some readers the impression that the author, and by extension CNET, condones illegal activities such as piracy. Neither CNET nor the author condones such activities. The story has been modified to reflect this, and the names of two piracy-oriented apps, which were originally included simply to illustrate how easy it is for people to steal paid apps, have been removed so as not to make such activity any simpler.

(Via TorrentFreak)