Apple Responds to Developers Regarding Expired Mac App Store Security Certificates

Last week some users and developers experienced an issue that displayed a "damaged" error when attempting to open select apps from the Mac App Store, including popular apps like 1Password, Tweetbot and Byword. Today, Apple has sent an email to developers explaining what happened and how to fix their apps.

CUDcjswUsAAiKe-
In the email, which developer Donald Southard Jr. shared on Twitter, Apple explains that the company issued a new security certificate for the Mac App Store in September in anticipation of the expiration of the old certificate. The new certificate used a stronger SHA-2 hashing algorithm instead of the old SHA-1 algorithm. Hashing algorithms are used by certificate authorities to sign security certificates.

However, two issues caused users to experience errors when starting up apps. The first issue, according to Apple, is that there was a caching issue with the Mac App Store that required users to restart their computers and re-authenticate with the Mac App Store to clear out the old cache. Apple says it's working on a fix for this in an upcoming OS X update. The other issue is that some apps were running an older version of OpenSSL that didn't support SHA-2. Apple says it replaced the SHA-2 certificate with a new SHA-1 certificate last Thursday night.

Finally, Apple says that "most of the issues are now resolved", but that some apps might still experience problems if the apps make "incorrect assumptions" about the Mac App Store's security certificates. Apple asks developers to make sure their code adheres to the Receipt Validation Programming Guide and to resubmit apps for expedited review if necessary. The AppleCare support team has also been briefed with the latest troubleshooting information for users.

Top Rated Comments

Bubba Satori Avatar
108 months ago
With all the ills in the world, you have time to be this bothered about this. Consider that for a moment.
This is not illsintheworldRumors.
Consider that for a moment.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ankou_Sabat Avatar
108 months ago
Actually this response does nothing about a much larger issue on the App Store.

Take the Tweetbot issue which I had hit me. They had released a new version, Tweetbot 2.1.1, right before this issue happened on Oct 15. This updated version is incompatible with Mac OS Mavericks (10.09) so those running Mavericks were stuck with the previous version. This means that for all those running an OS older than 10.10, you're only able to run Tweetbot 1.6.2. If you go to the App Store and try to update it, or even re-download on such an older OS it explicitly tells you of the incompatibility and says that it will download the "old" version for compatibility.

That would be fine, except the old versions are still signed with the EXPIRED CERTIFICATE! So even if you follow the directions to "re-download the damaged app" it will refuse to run because the certificate signed is expired. So the only "fix" is to upgrade your OS to 10.10. Sure it can be argued to upgrade to the latest version, but there are quite a few instances where this is impossible to do and as such, Apple has just put an expiration date on older software preventing you from running it by linking it to this certificate and not providing developers a way to re-sign those submissions with an updated cert. Neither does the App Store itself provide such a facility.

So if by the current expiration date which I believe now is 2 years from now, if your computer is unable to be upgraded to current OS and the current version is unsupported on your system, then you are completely out of luck and stuck with no app that you paid for. This makes the "download old version" feature in the App Store completely flawed if they provide no way to back sign older provided version on the store front.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sw1tcher Avatar
108 months ago
Software is like that. It's always just about to fall down around our ears, except usually someone is there trying to stop that from happening. Sometimes there are screw ups.
Software purchased through the MAS is like that. From what I read, people who purchased the same software directly from the developer or through other means didn't have to deal with this nonsense.

In the good ol' days, prior to the existence of the MAS, online activation, and subscription services, I'd install a program and it would just work™ until it got replaced or the computer died.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gijoeinla Avatar
108 months ago
Did someone at Apple win a prize for drafting a note with the most use of "issues" in the first paragraph? How did this letter get by Apple PR?

If Apple normally does one thing well, it's strong apologies once they've completed an investigation into a problem. This letter is not that.

Yes let's tear apart the letter for next 30 posts shall we. Let's question Apples integrity over it.

Oh my god. Get over it!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
applerocks Avatar
108 months ago
Did someone at Apple win a prize for drafting a note with the most use of "issues" in the first paragraph? How did this letter get by Apple PR?

If Apple normally does one thing well, it's strong apologies once they've completed an investigation into a problem. This letter is not that.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alphaod Avatar
108 months ago
Maybe it'll get some developers to finally update their apps.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
samsung galaxy ring

'Apple Ring' Allegedly in Development to Rival Samsung Galaxy Ring

Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:27 am PST by
Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea. Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the ...
volvo s60 drivers apple maps

iOS 17.4 Beta Adds CarPlay Option to Show Upcoming Maneuvers in Instrument Cluster

Tuesday February 20, 2024 10:47 am PST by
The fourth beta of iOS 17.4 that Apple released today adds a new CarPlay feature, according to the notes that Apple provided to developers. In supported CarPlay vehicles, there's now an Apple Maps option to show information about upcoming maneuvers in the instrument cluster. CarPlay users will be able to swap the display type between the main and instrument cluster by tapping on the map...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

Apple's Upcoming OLED iPad Pro Models Rumored to Be Much Thinner

Tuesday February 20, 2024 1:39 pm PST by
Apple is planning to update the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineups as soon as March, and the new iPad Pro models will be significantly thinner according to dimensions shared by 9to5Mac. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site claims that the larger version will be more than 1mm thinner. The current 12.9-inch iPad Pro measures in at 6.4mm thick, but the new model is said to be 5mm ...
m3 macbook pro 14 16

Apple Now Selling Refurbished M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro Models

Monday February 19, 2024 5:04 pm PST by
Apple today began offering refurbished versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chip options, offering the machines at a discount for the first time since their October 2023 release. The release of M3 Pro and M3 Max models on Apple's refurbished store comes almost two weeks after the entry-level 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro first appeared on the store....