Elliott C. Back: Internet & Technology

iPhone App Store Hacked: No DRM!

Posted in Apple,Cracking,Hacking,iPhone,iPod by Elliott Back on July 29th, 2008.

This is interesting, and at the same time scary. According to Engadget, Apple’s Fairplay (TM) DRM has been hacked for the new iPhone 3G App Store, and the applications themselves are appearing on torrent sites:

There’s also a more traditional crack which allows apps to be stripped of DRM and shared without using iTunes, although you’ll have to jailbreak your phone to do it. The first app to be widely pirated is Super Monkey Ball, which isn’t surprising, and it seems like several other apps have followed it out onto various torrent sites. In addition to the relatively simple jailbreak procedure, running cracked apps requires you to open up SSH access and do some mucking around, so unless your time is worth less than $10, it’s probably not worth it.


The latest apps appearing on a torrent search for iPhone include Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D, Super Monkey Ball, iBeer, and Enigmo, a total (so far) of $32.96 of potential revenue destroyed by hackers.

The original post at Haklabs, Super Monkey Ball iPhone – Cracked, explains the motivation for the hack:

After the WWDC ‘08 Keynote, everyone wanted this iPhone game, it received almost as much hype as the iPhone itself. Super Monkey Ball from SEGA definitely has some good qualities, however it does have some bad qualities as well. First off, this game costs $9.99 which might be a little steep for some.

1. Make sure you are on firmware 2.0
2. Download the Super Monkey Ball Cracked file and extract the .ipa file from the archive to your desktop.
3. Drag and drop the Monkey Ball.ipa file into the iTunes application folder and wait for it to install.

So because an irate iPhone user believes the Super Monkey Ball game costs too much at $9.99, he creates a hacked version and gives it away for free. I actually paid for Super Monkey Ball, because it’s one of the few applications worth my $9.99, and I advise you to as well. If there’s no financial market for creating great iPhone applications, the entire market will suffer, and we’ll have crappy apps to run on our $400 phones.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 at 12:14 am and is tagged with . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback.

30 Responses to “iPhone App Store Hacked: No DRM!”

  1. James says:

    Agree with JG. If a developer releases a good app and it gets noticed, people are going to cough up the relatively small cost to download it. Piracy will always be an issue but the low cost of apps shouldn’t encourage pirating apps as much as say a game or DVD.

  2. Reality says:

    Hey Jailbreak or Bust,
    I think cars are too expensive and not worth there value. I think I will hack yours and use it myself, saving me money. Only the feeble minded or people who don’t value their money would say otherwise.

    If you can’t pay 99 cents for an app that’s good or bad, your the one that’s feeble minded and not thinking straight.

  3. Jailbreak or bust says:

    I got a $40 gift card when I got my iphone, so of course I went and blew it all on apps. Not one of those apps were worth even the basic 99 cent price tag, ESPECIALLY any of the games. I fully support the act of jailbreaking an iPod to get free apps. Only the feeble minded or people who don’t value their money would say otherwise.

    Why just today I went and bought a copy of “Amnesia: the dark decent” for $10. Yet, you spent that same $10 on super monkey balls? Smart.

  4. Blasius says:

    “This seems like a non-issue to me, hacked apps need a jailbroken iphone in order to run. What percentage of iPhones are jailbroken? I would be surprised if it was more than 1 or 2 percent. ”

    Actually, I’ve seen polls about this on about three different website and about 78% of all iDevices have been jailbroken. Only about 6% of the ones that werent were because they were scared. The other 16% didnt know what jailbreaking was.

  5. historic fossil says:

    I feel developers should remember and watch the behavior of the music industry.

    When pirating was going at full throttle, the music sales and record company profits were the best they ever had.

    Then they started cracking down on people and made examples out of some small, poor individuals who didn’t have the skill, resources or finances to fight back. Every body saw this and found the over-the-top bullying of mega-corp vs. single-mother-of three to be quite repugnant.

    The results: the pirating has gone deeper underground, many consumers are offended with the industry, musicians have come out about how they get no profit from the record sales AND SALES & PROFITS HAVE GONE DOWN THE TOILET!

    The music industry product has become ****. We will never see talent like Elvis, The Beetles, The Rolling Stones….etc. The manufactured bands don’t have any soul. These talented musicians do not develop the angst, the heart or the life experiences that lead into classic songs that will inspire audiences for generations.

    Michael Jackson may have been the last of the giants. And the consumer public knows this. They demonstrate the values with their purchasing power.

    Meanwhile, the industry marketing masters don’t understand why I have stopped buying, or pirating, music anymore.

    Profits go away with the quality of the product.

    Developers beware, history can repeat itself.

    P.S. When I had pirated music, it was to sample and try out the album. If it was good, I would buy the music. If not, the MP3s were deleted.

    P.P.S. The last music purchase I made? Were vinyl records of Van Halen at the used record shop (about 2 years ago). CDs and MP3s just don’t sound the same. The last app I bought? this morning.

  6. deepblue says:

    Take 30 seconds to look at www.cyrket.com/m/android/ and look at how many free APPS and GAMES there are for android. You can compare with Palm and Winmo to get a good idea how different it is.

    If the application stores truly worked on the sale of the application, and not its merit, then the Android Market would be a huge miserable failure, and no developer would think twice to put anything on android market.


    Android Market has the most free apps, and is third place (iTunes store is not the biggest) and rising in how many apps reside there. Sure you get some issues along the way, but at the end of the day its all “how much does this app provide” not “how much money did I make from this app”. Only time will tell when app visibility/viability for developers becomes an issue.

    Free does not equal theft, but the theft comes from the fact that 1. Digital Rights Management never works in the long run or will eventually be broken, and 2. the competition of others dictate the free market value. Kudos to Apple to keep its environment free of competition, the true American dream.

  7. Aventurite says:

    cracked apps does help when you are too young to own a credit card and thus not able to purchase anything.

  8. Bob says:

    that was really unclear.
    Your hourly wage from other work would have to be around $.50 for it to be worth it to jailbreak.

  9. rey says:

    who’s posting all these links to cracked apps? cut it out you **** wad.

  10. Matt says:

    This is stupid. Devs complaining over cracked apps is a waste. If they seriously try hard on making their game, then they will make money.

    Everyone remember Trism? That game has been cracked and made the developer $250,000 in just two months.

    I don’t do cracked apps, I jailbroke so I could play Doom and Quake 3 arena. Plus I think Apple should let us customize our GUI.

    Quit complaining. Cracked apps are nothing.

  11. […] of iPhone apps appears to have been going on since at least last July with the pirating of the Super Monkey Ball from […]

  12. […] of iPhone apps appears to have been going on since at least last July with the pirating of the Super Monkey Ball from […]

  13. […] of iPhone apps appears to have been going on since at least last July with the pirating of the Super Monkey Ball from […]

  14. […] of iPhone apps appears to have been going on since at least last July with the pirating of the Super Monkey Ball from […]

  15. Hari says:

    This seems like a non-issue to me, hacked apps need a jailbroken iphone in order to run. What percentage of iPhones are jailbroken? I would be surprised if it was more than 1 or 2 percent.

    Piracy is endemic with software, it will not ever go away, DRM schemes are hacked constantly, it's an on-going cat and mouse game. In the scheme of things the app store is a resounding success and a fantastic opportunity for developers

  16. […] of iPhone apps appears to have been going on since at least last July with the pirating of the Super Monkey Ball from […]

  17. CantTouchThis says:

    Apple sucks for making people create an iTunes account AND entering a credit card number before they can install any applications. What about people who just want to install a few free apps? WIth all the malware and evil people out there, maybe it is good that Apple wants to verify all software before allowing anything to be installed on an iPhone. However, if someone pays $200 or more for an iPhone, they should be allowed to install any 3rd party apps they choose. In some ways Apple makes people resort to piracy. Boo for Apple.

    • Danny says:

      you dont have to if you browse itunes and select a free app and click download it will then ask you to sign in or create an account click create and then an option to select none in the payment section will be visable which is not visable if you just try to create an account

  18. Rogers says:

    I have a 2.1 firmware..
    how i can set up 2.0 firmware?? pealse help.. please :)

  19. anonymous says:

    i dont get it… if u download those rapid share cracked iphone games…. how do u put it in the phone…. im new to iphone so i have absolutely no idea what’s what… please explain… thanks ; )

  20. Kevin Hans says:

    Hi Guys,
    The total number of hacked application is coming near to 300, you can see the detail here www.iphonefootprint.com/2008/08/jailbreak-your-iphone-to-get-free-applications/. Apart from this hacking, there is one more type of hacking done inside the App Store itself by developers: read the detail here www.iphonefootprint.com/2008/08/app-store-hacked/

  21. Tanveer says:

    i m getting error not authorized to this computer, plz help me

  22. DigitalTendencies says:

    FYI, Games for computers have been pirated since the very beginning yet they’re still around and the ones that are great make tons of money.

  23. gas says:


  24. Iphone-User says:

    I do not support hacked or cracked apps, but i do not understand why the Developers dont offer free trial versions of their apps. I nearly bought Super Monkey ball, but luckily i tried it with a friends iphone first and i simply do not like the control. Would have been a waste of money for me therefore…

  25. Sebby says:

    I found a comprehensive list of cracked apps. Here is the link with all the downloads:

  26. JG says:

    Everyone knows that people who download cracked software wouldnt buy it in the first place. App Store devs arent losing significant revenue from this…yet. Bottom line, if the App is high quality, the developer will make money regardless of DRM. Developers that throw together some questionable **** and try and sell it for $0.99 should be the ones crying over this. A year from now it probably wont matter, because there will be 10+ Million iPhone users buying 100+ Million apps from the App Store. The revenue is still going to be there.

  27. Elliott Back says:

    Yeah, wait until the quality of Apps declines because their developers aren’t getting paid. Then see how awesome it is to steal.

  28. itouch says:


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