By Tim Frederick | Jul 16, 2012 09:42 PM EDT
A service launched last week by Russian hacker Alexey Borodin allows iOS device users to bypass the actual purchasing part of purchasing apps, allowing them to effectively obtain just about any paid app for free, though some apps do not properly register as being purchased.
The service works by altering the configuration settings in the user's iOS device, which then redirects app payment requests through a server being run by the hacker, bypassing the payment process entirely and allowing users to acquire most paid apps without charge, and all without having to jailbreak their system.
Aside from the obvious moral and ethical questions that the use of such a service should raise (and the reporting of this story is by no means to promote or encourage the use of this service), there are major privacy and security concerns on top of that. Users' Apple ID, password, and possibly other data are all freely turned over to the hacker's server by using the service, and while he says he is in no way saving or making use of that data in any way, it would be foolish to simply accept that statement at face value.
Despite those concerns, both ethical and other, it was reported that 400,000 apps had already been 'purchased' through using the service in the first 24 hours after its launch.
Needless to say, Apple is investigating the matter, and frantically looking for a solution to stem the tide of apps flowing freely from their once secure app store.
"The security of the App Store is incredibly important to us and the developer community. We take reports of fraudulent activity very seriously and we are investigating" Apple representative Natalie Harrison said in a statement to The Loop.
It was initially suspected that their iOS 6 beta 3 update had measures to counter the new service, but Borodin has since confirmed that the update does nothing to block his service, and is safe to download.
You can find more information about the service and how it works here.
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