Print 32 comment(s) - last by Motoman.. on Jan 4 at 1:03 PM

In yo' app catalog, cracking yo' apps!   (Source: WPCentral via YouTube)
Apparently Microsoft "ironclad" piracy protections aren't really that strong

Thus far the Windows Phone 7 platform hasn't reportedly been suffering as severely from piracy as Apple's iOS or Google's Android.  However, Microsoft may be in for a similar fate as its competitors.

In six hours, a developer advising technical blog site WPCentral was able to create an app (named "FreeMarketPlace") that downloaded any app from Microsoft's WP7 Marketplace, and removed the protections from it [video].  The cracked app could then be directly loaded on an unlocked handset, or be saved to your hard drive.

WPCentral was ardent that it would not publish details of how the hack worked, and that it only made the video as a cry to action for Microsoft.  The site comments, "We are confident Microsoft will work hard to implement a stronger DRM system, in part due to this proof-of-concept demonstration."

The site had previously laid out a plan of attack for cracking Microsoft's DRM scheme, writing that the necessary steps were to:

  • Download all the apps from the Marketplace: done (or can be done)
  • Seed those apps in a torrent for peer to peer distribution
  • Circumvent the 10 sideload app limit: done (see here)
  • Enable a disabled app: tricky, but can be done, no method to do it en masse
  • Get around code obfuscation (not mentioned by V@l€n, we'll do it for him)
  • Remove XAP security signature: needs work

That report came following the post of a white paper detailing the initial steps on the XDA site (a resource for Microsoft developers) by hacker named V@l€n.  

Keep in mind, however, without security protections properly in place, pirate programs may be unexpectedly modified to contain trojans or other malware.  

Modified apps distributed via third-party apps stores were identified this week as creating a growing Android phone botnet in China.  Thus when WP7's DRM is eventually cracked in full, beware if you're downloading pirated apps with your phone.

Comments     Threshold

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RE: ...why?
By omnicronx on 1/1/2011 2:30:23 PM , Rating: 1
Fact is a powerful word.

Will most DRM schemes eventually be cracked? Sure..

Will DRM detect many from the illicit activies in the first place? Yes..

Whether or not the DRM is a failure is hardly dependent on whether or not the scheme is bypassed.

Correlation != Causation
Nor are your vague inferences fact.

RE: ...why?
By Motoman on 1/1/2011 4:51:09 PM , Rating: 4
Will most DRM schemes eventually be cracked? Sure..

Not most. All. Every DRM scheme that has ever existed has been cracked. It is irrational to expect that there will ever be an "uncrackable" DRM scheme in the future. Remember what the definition of insanity is...

Will DRM detect many from the illicit activies in the first place? Yes..

Assuming you meant "deter" instead of detect...maybe. But on the other hand, what that DRM will deter people from doing is buying the product/service at all. It's a double-whammy for the producer...not only does the DRM not prevent piracy, but it does prevent some people from buying the product/service altogether.

Whether or not the DRM is a failure is hardly dependent on whether or not the scheme is bypassed.

...what? The purpose of DRM is to prevent piracy. If it doesn't prevent piracy, it's a failure. If it further deters would-be consumers from buying the product/service, it's a superfailure.

Correlation != Causation

First intelligent thing you've said all day. Strange that you think that there's any reason to point that out here and now, though...unless you fundamentally misunderstand what's going on.

Nor are your vague inferences fact.

Vague inferences? It is an irrefutable fact that 100% of all DRM schemes has been defeated...and therefore do not prevent piracy, which is what they're supposed to do. That's not vague, and it's not an inference. DRM does limit what the consumer can do with the product/service - that also is neither vague nor an inference. Same applies to the fact that some forms of DRM can preclude the legitimate consumer from properly using their legitimately-purchased product/service anyway...and to the fact that DRM does deter some would-be legitimate consumers from buying said product/service...and to the fact that the DRM will push some of those would-be legitimate consumers to using a pirated version instead - since it would cause them less grief to do so.

None of that is vague, and none of it is an inference. All of it is happening, right now. And that is a fact.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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