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Windows Marketplace DRM is already cracked

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 13 Oct 2009 2:18 User comments (2)

Windows Marketplace DRM is already cracked User Chainfire over at XDA-developers made a post this week in regards to the Windows Marketplace, adding that the DRM used was practically "non-existant" and that it had been cracked already by himself, within hours of the service's launch.
Because the user is a software developer, he declined to spell out the method of cracking the protection on the apps, but did post the following:

And then there was Marketplace. For commercial devs, something nice to have. But if you have followed the news, the piracy protection for commercial developers is not much to speak of. See this document:

I will refrain from quoting the obvious mistakes in this document, if you give this thing a read, you will notice them soon enough. What it all comes down to is that there is no copy protection, not even at the advanced level, at least if they implement it in the way I interpret from reading that document.

So today I started up Marketplace and it worked. Hurrah. The current level of protection is making sure the CAB files are deleted upon install - which is obviously not a way to protect anything - but even this, I thought, should easily be circumventable.

Now, because I wanted to see how fast it could be done, I went with a hunch instead of doing any investigation. And that hunch worked like charm. It took me less than five minutes to circumvent this "protection", and get the ability to save the CABs the MarketPlace app downloads to a different folder. As the CAB file is the same for every downloader, you could just give this CAB you payed for out to all your friends.

Obviously I will not disclose the method, because that would be working against other commercial developers, and ultimately myself. It's just to let you know how ridiculously easy it is, and to give fair warning to those looking to sell apps on the Marketplace.

So, the moral of the story is... WTF MICROSOFT?

I know firsthand there is no such thing as perfect copy protection, but this is just plain ridiculous.

What we really need is for apps to be able to use our own copy protection schemes... you know, like the good web-based app stores out there.

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2 user comments

113.10.2009 4:10

Microsoft's goals in copy protection are not to prevent piracy, only to hurt legal, paying customers. All their protection schemes up to now have only served to cause problems for their paying customers. At the same time, pirates have dissabled this crap easily, and they don't even have to enter a product key. It seems that they are repeating this pirates will copy the cabs elsewhere before using them, while paying customers will just install them...deleting the installer without permission from or notification to the user.

213.10.2009 9:44

I had read something awhile back where Microsfot stated that unlike Apple, they'd automatically delete apps from people's WM phones for whatever reason without consent or warning. It just didn't tell how this would be done. Thanks for posting this article. I'll be sure to take whatever measures are available to keep this from happening to me if and when I get a WM mobile phone. Why Microsoft would make public this threat(is what I consider it as anyway)is baffling to me. I mean do they not want the marketplace to be successful at all. Couple this crappy news with the pricing scheme that differs greatly from Apple's in that 99 cent pricing will be greatly discouraged because accroding to Microsoft, it gratly undervalues their products. No good whatsoever.

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