AppStore ▪ July 16, 2012

On Friday, we broke the news on some worrying tips we received about an “in-app proxy” hack that allowed even novice users to illegally install paid in-app purchase content for free. In updates to our original story, we noted the hack’s developer, Alexey V. Borodin, said in an interview that Apple’s method of validating receipts for developers would not protect apps from the hack. Apple followed up with a statement that claimed it is investigating the issue. Today, we get an update from The Next Web that further claims Apple began taking action over the weekend:

Over the weekend, Apple began blocking the IP address of the server used by Russian hacker Alexey V. Borodin to authenticate purchases.

It followed this up with a takedown request on the original server, taking down third-party authentication with it, also issuing a copyright claim on the overview video Borodin used to document the circumvention method. PayPal also got involved, placing a block on the original donation account for violating its terms of service

Unfortunately, the service is reportedly still operational with Borodin apparently moving the server to a location outside of Russia. He told The Next Web that the new service has been “updated and cuts out Apple’s servers, ‘improving’ the protocol to include its own authorisation and transaction processes. The new method ‘can and will not reach the App Store anymore, so the proxy (or caching) feature has been disabled'”

While Borodin also claimed he has changed the process to force users to sign out of their iTunes account (to ensure users he is not stealing personal/credit card data), there are more than a few reasons to still be concerned. Developer Alastair Houghton told us that he thinks Borodin’s method could be used “intercept traffic intended for any other secure website”:

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AppStore ▪ July 10, 2012

Next Issue, a subscription-based iPad app for magazines, finally hit the App Store today after first having launched as an Android app on the Google Play store.

The sales pitch is simple: “All the magazines you love. All in one app. All yours for one low price.”

Folks need to visit to create an account and start a 30-day free trial, and then they can download the app to access a bevy of titles from Conde Nast, News Corp, Hearst, Meredith, Time, and more major publishers. A few of the more enticing magazine titles include: Allure, Better Homes and Gardens, Bon Appétit, ELLE, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Fitness, Fortune, Glamour, GQ, InStyle, People, Popular Mechanics, Real Simple, Self, Southern Living, Sports Illustrated, The New Yorker, TIME, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Wired.

Next Issue offers two subscription types: the $10 monthly plan only provides the top magazines, while the $15 monthly plan boasts the entire catalog with weekly selections. A quick gander through the catalog shows enhanced digital magazines, which are tablet-optimized and feature bonus videos, photography and interactive elements.

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AppStore ▪ July 5, 2012

Apple just released the following statement on the App corruption issue we reported earlier today:

“We had a temporary issue that began yesterday with a server that generated DRM code for some apps being downloaded. It affected only a small number of users.

“The issue has been rectified and we don’t expect it to occur again,” Apple said. Those who have an affected app can re-download it from the App Store.

The “small number of users” seems to run counter to what Instapaper developer Marco Arment found as he publicized his issues with Apple (along with Good Reader) today.

Apple: This is a serious problem. It’s not isolated. Please fix this.

Sources told Macworld that Apple will be removing one-star app reviews developers earned unfairly because of the company’s server issue.

AppStore ▪ July 4, 2012

AppStore ▪ June 14, 2012

AppStore ▪ June 13, 2012

In a recent story about growing concerns among app developers who want better ways to promote their apps in the App Store, The Wall Street Journal published quotes from an interview with Apple’s Vice President for Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller about the “tremendous amount” of work Apple does to help new apps get discovered. Schiller also talked about how things will improve with the redesigned App Store, Facebook integration, and new user tracking tools for developers in iOS 6:
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