Late in 2012, Hackulous finally decided to called it quits, and shut down it’s various services, including popular piracy app Installous. This marked a victory in the fight against app piracy, but it looks as if that victory may be short lived. Several new services allow users to install pirated apps without the need to Jailbreak your device, which may be worse than Installous.
The two new apps in question are Zeusmos and Kuaiyong. Zeusmos has been around for a few months now, and Kuaiyong is fairly new.
The reason these apps are such an issue, is they allow users to easily pirate apps, and in this case, the devices don’t have to be jailbroken, which makes it even easier to pirate apps. What makes this an issue, is when a person pirates a paid app, the developer makes no money off that app, since it was never sold to that user. Essentially, the app is being stolen, and the developer loses money. With Installous, it was only available to jailbroken iOS users, which when you compare that number to the amount of iOS devices out there that aren’t jailbroken, it’s a fairly small group of people. But since these new apps allow non-jailbroken users to use them, it creates a much larger issue, allowing anyone with an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad to pirate an app with ease. Developers can lose tons of money due to piracy. Some developers have even called it quits, and had their app(s) either removed from the App Store, or just put them up for free.
Below, I explain detail what both these services are.
Kuaiyong, is a chinese based website (the name kind of makes that detail obvious) that allows you to install apps for free (pirate) from your iDevice for free.
There are two parts to this application. The first one allows you to install paid applications for free directly onto your iOS device, and the other is a desktop application that uses a wired connection to your device to install the apps. Once you use either method, iTunes syncing stops working.
Melissa Elliott, a security researcher has looked a little deeper into how the Kuaiyong tool works, and has issued a warning not to use it, as it could be potentially harmful to your device.
There are many other tools like this one out there on the web. A majority of them can be harmful to your device, and all of them can be harmful to developers. Sure, free is nice, but sometimes, you just have to pay for things, like you do in the case of paid applications on the App Store, and any other app marketplace out there.
According to the Next Web, the apps may have been purchased under either an Apple Enterprise license which would allow the installation of these apps on multiple devices, or numerous developer accounts could also be in use here, which may cause a bit of an issue, if they max out at 100. Furthermore, these pirated installs may actually be installing the same copy of the app each time, meaning the credentials of the app are the same each time.
Zeusmos works slightly different, and isn’t entirely free. If you happen to be using a jailbroken iDevice, then you’ll be able to steal applications for free. But, if your not part of that jailbroken minority, then you’ll have to pay a fee to pirate apps. It charges for a “cloud-plan” to install pirated apps, and then provides users with a provisioning profile and license that allows them to install these cracked-apps. The creator of the application claims it’s a way to “try before you buy.” Sorry, but I don’t exactly agree with the part about trying before you buy, because I doubt that the majority of users are going to pirate apps to just try them out. Sure, a small minority of people may be doing that, but I don’t think the majority will be doing that in the near future. It’s a weak defense. Face it, Zeusmos allows people to pirate apps, and to steal from developers. Everyone says there aren’t enough good apps out there, but does anyone really expect people to write apps for these various platforms if they can’t make any money?
Zeumos may make use of a developer licensing certificate to allow users to install these cracked-app’s.
The fact that more of these applications are popping up out there on the web is bad news for developers. Unless stronger security measures are implemented, and piracy is drastically reduced, the quality of apps may go downhill in time. Developers won’t want to create new applications if they know that it’s just going to get pirated.
Zeumos allows users to do something else that could be equally as bad. It allows them to share cracked apps with their friends who are also Zeumos users on Twitter, or by way of email. This could allow cracked applications to spread like wildfire, which is extremely bad.
The Bottom Line:
Piracy is wrong. For some people, developing apps is what puts their food on the table at night, it’s what puts gas in their car, and keeps a roof over their head. These applications allow you to steal from developers, which is wrong. If the problem becomes widespread (even more so than now), then some developers may end up making no money at all due to extreme piracy rates.
The fact that Installous was shut down was a step in the right direction in the fight against piracy. But with new applications on the rise, such as the ones mentioned in this article, this is a kick in the teeth for developers, and are a step back in the fight against piracy. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and anyone else that has an app store, need step up security to prevent piracy. Stronger security measures will help. Although piracy may never entirely disappear, a lot of it can be prevented.
If you are pirating apps, YOU ARE STEALING FROM DEVELOPERS. It isn’t right. Just buy the app, whatever the price may be. For the most part, apps aren’t expensive. Just buy it, it really isn’t going to hurt you. If you can’t afford the app for whatever reason, then just wait awhile, then buy it if you still need it or want it.
What’s your take on this issue? Let us know down below in the comments.
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NOTE: The iCydiaBlog, and its writers do not support piracy in any way, shape or form. Piracy is wrong. If you don’t have a conscience, and want to steal from developers, keep in mind that you are destroying good things for the rest of us, and you are running the risk of harming your device. Also keep in mind that you are stealing from developers, and cheating them out of money that they deserve, and would have gotten if you would’ve just bought the app in the first place.
- kuaiyong github