A hacker in Russia known as ZonD80 has found a simple method to unlock the in-app purchases feature found on apps for the iPad and iPhone for free. This has turned into a potential financial blowout to the iOS apps developers who depend on these apps paid upgrade feature for their income.
The hack is very troubling because the process is simple enough even for novices to implement and enable it and use it on their devices. Jailbreaking of the iOS devices isn’t required for the hack. All the user has to do is to download two security certificates found on the ZonD80’s site, then change a setting of the Wi-Fi connection of the iPhone or the iPad, presto you’re finished.
9to5Mac.com, an Apple blog tested the method and it turned out that the hack really seems to work on many of their iOS devices that have version from iOS 3 to latest not yet released iOS 6. Though the process doesn’t work for all apps in-app purchase options.
However, Apple provides a service for verifying store receipts to iOS app developers, which will block all hacks from ZonD80 to be successful, if they are enabled. Developers who don’t have this service are vulnerable.
Apple has been facing some tough time in recent weeks over its cyber security issues, quite unusual for a computer company which takes pride for security of its devices. A malware based on Java this week attacked older OS X versions. Then there was a malicious app on the App Store where Apple has to reboot the system and recently the company revoked its claims that its computers aren’t prone to virus attacks which prompted even more cyber attacks from the internet.
When contacted, Apple has said it will give an update on the issue. For the moment, ZonD80′s servers are down, which is bad news for those who wanted free app upgrades on their iPhones and iPads. But ZonD80 said that they will back in business within 2-3 days.
So, more bad news for Apple and iOS developers.