Apple says it’s investigating in-app purchasing exploit

By , Jul 13, 2012

Earlier today, news broke of a new exploit in the App Store’s in-app purchasing system that allows users to gain access to paid content, free of charge. The method does not require a jailbreak, and can be completed in a few simple steps.

As you can imagine, this has caused quite a stir in the iOS community, forcing Apple to take notice. This afternoon, the Cupertino company released the following statement…

The Loop reports:

“The security of the App Store is incredibly important to us and the developer community,” Apple representative Natalie Harrison, told The Loop. “We take reports of fraudulent activity very seriously and we are investigating.”

Here’s hoping that Apple is able to shut this down quickly. TheNextWeb is reporting that the system has already been used to make over 30,000 illegal in-app purchases. Even at just $.99 a pop, that would equate to tens of thousands of dollars in lost profits for developers.

It seems like Apple has been hit by a number of App Store issues in the past few weeks. First there was the DRM bug, which caused app updates to automatically crash on launch. Then there was that malicious Find and Call app that was discovered last week.

You have to wonder, do these incidents have something to do with the fact that Apple is currently revamping its entire iTunes Store? Or is the App Store simply getting too big for its own good?

Either way, at least Apple seems to be addressing the problems quickly.

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  • pegger1

    I wouldn’t necessarily call it all lost profits. I’m sure the majority who did it wouldn’t have spent that money in the first place.

    • http://twitter.com/haredx haredx

      Exactly.

    • Alexander Dohms

      Agreed

    • http://twitter.com/Chrisp_707 Chris

      Couldn’t have said it any better myself.

    • http://twitter.com/Jsal017 Javier Salinas

      I think this will actually boost sales after this method is closed by apple because people will see what kind of extras they get for $0.99

  • http://twitter.com/haredx haredx

    “Even at just $.99 a pop, that would equate to tens of thousands of dollars in lost profits for developers.” I don’t agree with this statement. The chances that these purchases would have been made legitimately, had this method not surfaced, are slim and none.

    • ic0dex

      Yup… $99 for 100 stupid gold bars just so you can by a gun or a car in the game. They only give you 2-5 free gold bars and that is it. Its like if you want to play the full game you have to pay $99. Sorry but I don’t feel bad for any of the developers because of the way they try to rip people off.

      • Dan

        indeed, it’s like that EA Simpsons game, I played it a bit till I realized I would get no where unless I spent 100’s of dollars

  • Dan

    It’s not really a loss of profit. I’ve used iapCracker on games like jet-pack joyride temple run, but I would of never actually paid for the in game money, it was just for fun.

  • http://twitter.com/the_fake_chris Chris

    i can’t believe this has happened. if i’m a developer i am so pissed off. apple needs to fix this quickly…

  • Aleksander Azizi

    It might not be “lost profits”, as many people who don’t understand how to correctly do this and/or failed to use this “hack” actually bought the in-app purchases by mistake, (not making it up, i have been reading multiple places that many have failed and actually paid for the purchases).
    Altho, as a developer myself, i really hope Apple “patches” this sort of thing and fix it before anyone is able to “exploit” it in the future.

    • Aleksander Azizi

      Altho, i see and agree with your point Cody.

  • http://twitter.com/DucoHD Duco™

    I wouldn’t use this exploit. People who do, have fun sending your personal data to some Russian guy.

  • http://twitter.com/Mad_Mike17 Michael Fleming

    I bought shadowgun. Purchased Infiniti blade, and Mass Effect, and Dead Space. They were all amazing games. I waited months for Dead Trigger and when I saw the 99 cent price I tried to lie to myself saying “It’s going to be an introductory price…” but nay. Now I’ve dumped another $5 dollars in it to make it playable for a casual gamer. Madfinger would’ve been better off making it a six dollar game. And I hope these kids stick it to them pretty hard. Enjoy the 6 bucks.