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Russian Hacker Develops A Method Of Getting iOS In-App Purchases For Free [No Jailbreak Needed]

A Russian developer has apparently managed to discover a method of obtaining in-app purchases from iOS apps for free as noticed by Russian blog i-ekb.ru (via 9to5Mac). The process uses an “in-app proxy” and does not rely on any kind of jailbreak. In fact, the process can easily be replicated by any iOS user in three simple steps. The hack reportedly works on all devices running iOS 3.0 to iOS 6.0.

The source explains how it’s done:

The hack appears to have come from Russian developer ZonD80 who posted the video demonstration given below. ZonD80 also appears to run a website called In-AppStore.com where donations are being accepted to support the development of the project and help keep servers up and running. The developer explained the three steps of the hack, which include the installation of CA certificate, the installation of in-appstore.com certificate, and the changing of DNS record in wi-fi settings. After the quick process, users are presented with the message pictured above when installing in-app purchases, opposed to Apple’s usual purchase confirmation dialog.

The method is not allowing users to install content from 100 percent of apps, as some users of the method report it failing for certain in-app purchases in specific regions. This is of course not something we approve of, and despite warnings from the developer himself to please “not pirate AppStore apps”, he continues to assist users of the hack that report it not working with certain apps.

It seems that Apple does provide a method for developers to validate receipts for in-app purchases, which is likely why the hack described above does not work with some apps.

Update: The site ‘In-AppStore.com’ is currently down. It is unclear whether it is down simply due to high traffic or if other steps are being taken to hinder his activities.

“Technology runs through my veins...” | Follow me: @DrUsmanQ usman@iPhoneinCanada.ca

  • TheOne

    In-app purchases are exteremely stupid and annoying and just a money grab anyway. So I support this!

  • http://www.ryantoyota.com/ Ryan

    I understand the desire for people to try and take stuff for free when there’s not a huge cost to others (no material cost to Apple or the App Developer but very possibly costing them lost sales), but asking people for money to help them steal stuff that doesn’t belong to them seems very wrong to me.

  • http://www.ryantoyota.com/ Ryan

    That depends on the app. Some developers rely on in-app purchases to make money, using it as kind of a way to provide a demo to customers (since Apple doesn’t really have a proper way to do this built in to the App Store model). Developers deserve to get paid for their work.

    This is actually a much nicer way of being able to try out what they’ve created and then decide if they’ve created something of value for you and pay them if they’ve succeeded. I tend to think it pushes app developers to create really great products, as you’re not buying blindly based on someone who can make a pretty icon and screenshots and write a good description, you’re buying based on the actual performance and usefulness of the app.

    I agree there are some developers who use the in-app purchases as a money grab, but there’s no obligation to buy. If you don’t want to give them your money, then don’t. If they’ve built something that’s valuable and useful to you, pay them for it. Stealing something because you don’t think it’s worth the price tag isn’t the answer.

  • Acer12345

    But there is a demo system in the App Store, it’s called the “free version” of some app.

  • http://www.ryantoyota.com/ Ryan

    Yeah, but that’s not an ideal solution either. You have to download a different app if you decide you like it, and in the process you lose any saved data or game progress that you may have made in the “demo.”

    Both methods have drawbacks and advantages, I think I prefer the in-app purchase option for a “demo” functionality. The major problem with that model though is that it’s misleading to people who find the app in the “free” category and then are frustrated to learn that it’s a limited version of the full product and must be unlocked with an in-app purchase, with a price that’s often unknown up-front.

    I think what would be great is if apps in the paid section had an option beside them that would allow you to demo the app for 5 days or so (that the developer can disable for certain apps of course). After 5 days, you’d open the app and your iPhone would tell you that the trial has expired and ask if you’d like to pay for the app to continue using it. That way you see the full price of the app when you’re browsing and are fully aware of it when demoing the app. No surprises, no multi-app downloads, no lost data.

  • marsdust

    The purchases most often than never, cost a few fucking bucks, just pay it. Just is just wrong!

  • BrodieTheDog

    Come on everybody. Let’s rob Rovio blind. Lol

  • BrodieTheDog

    Nice typo. Just is just, not wrong. Hehe:)

  • alamarco

    That essentially is a demo. When you download a game demo for the XBOX 360, you play the features given and decide if you like the game enough to buy it. Most games, if not all, don’t allow you to continue any progress when you have the full game.

    The same happens with PC software. While I don’t think it happens often, there have been cases where applications will allow you to download and use the program, but not let you save the results. In this case, you’re losing data until you make the purchase.

    I do like your idea. Having limited timed apps would be a nice way to alleviate the current issues with the App Store. Another solution would be to add another category. You could have your paid section, your in-app purchase section, and your free section. Basically, it would separate the free from the non-free while having a category which fit demo apps.

    I’m sure there are many more possibilities that would help clear up the App Store, but I doubt Apple will do anything, at least anytime soon.

    I understand why Apple originally implemented in app purchases, but these in app purchases have quickly deteriorated the free category. I find the free category almost useless now with most apps being “freemium” with in app purchases.

  • ????Dennis

    Well said Ryan. That’s a perfect idea!

  • Your Mom

    Doesn’t work