Apple's Enterprise Developer Program Also Being Used to Distribute Hacked Apps
Misuse of Apple's enterprise developer program certificates continues to make news, with a new report from Reuters outlining how software pirates have been using the program to distribute hacked versions of popular apps like Minecraft, Pokemon Go, Spotify, Angry Birds, and more.
Using so-called enterprise developer certificates, these pirate operations are providing modified versions of popular apps to consumers, enabling them to stream music without ads and to circumvent fees and rules in games, depriving Apple and legitimate app makers of revenue.
The software pirates in turn make money by charging some users annual subscription fees for "VIP" versions of their hacked apps that are "more stable than the free versions."
After being alerted by Reuters to these developer accounts being used to distribute hacked apps, Apple removed a number of them, but more have since sprung up to take their place.
Revelations regarding abuse of Apple's enterprise developer program surfaced late last month, led by word that Facebook and Google were using the program to distribute market research apps to users that were capable of tracking all of their online activity in exchange for rewards.
Apple briefly revoked enterprise certificates for both companies, which had the side effect of temporarily disabling Facebook's and Google's internal apps including custom testing versions of their own public apps as well as private internal apps for corporate use such as transportation and food.
And just yesterday, additional abuse of Apple's enterprise program came to light in the form of apps featuring adult content and gambling that can not be distributed through the traditional App Store due to Apple's rules prohibiting or limiting those types of content.
Apple today announced that as of February 27, all developer accounts will require two-factor authentication to be turned on, a move that will help secure these accounts and limit their ability to be traded or sold amongst those seeking to skirt Apple's rules.