Thursday February 14, 2019

Software Pirates are Allegedly Hijacking Apple's Enterprise Developer Certificates

Apple's Developer Enterprise Program has gotten quite a bit of scrutiny after both Facebook and Google seemingly violated the program's guidelines. Now, Reuters reports that "software pirates" are abusing the program to distribute modified versions of apps that enable users to "stream music without ads and to circumvent fees and rules in games, depriving Apple and legitimate app makers of revenue." While Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney previously mentioned that Google has a way to track Fortnite installs outside of Google Play, Reuters claims that Apple has no way of tracking these installs. In related news, no "jailbreak" for iOS 12 exists yet, but recent rumors suggests that one is coming soon, which would offer Apple users another potential way to sideload apps.

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Apple confirmed a media report on Wednesday that it would require two-factor authentication - using a code sent to a phone as well as a password - to log into all developer accounts by the end of this month, which could help prevent certificate misuse. Major app makers Spotify Technology SA, Rovio Entertainment Oyj and Niantic Inc have begun to fight back. Spotify declined to comment on the matter of modified apps, but the streaming music provider did say earlier this month that its new terms of service would crack down on users who are "creating or distributing tools designed to block advertisements" on its service.