Sunday, November 2, 2008

Strategies - An Introduction

In this posting we'll discuss some of the various strategies you, my intrepid and enterprising App Store developers, can utilize to protect your application.

So your application got cracked. Now what?

If you've been following along then you'll know there are several ways to detect a compromised application bundle. There are a few more ways that you can use but those are the aces in my sleeve and will be revealed at a later date.

Some of you might think, "okay so a 15 year old pizza face offspring of some yuppies just cracked my application... I'll just push out a new update and quit the application if Info.plist is modified!" Well, yeah, you could do that. But what's the first thing the cracker is going to do after he cracks your application? He's going to run it to test his handy work.

If your application bombs out on execution then it's a simple task for a kid with a hex editor to modify your decrypted application so that it doesn't crash.

Your knee jerk reaction has been thwarted and you've only slowed down ONE cracker and ZERO copiers.

Really, so NOW what?

If you remember the previous article (Prelude) then KNOWING is half the battle. The process for cracking an application is literally automated.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT FACT.

If copies of your pirated software are using resources on an external server, say, for tracking high scores, downloading new resources for your application (hello Tap Tap Revenge NIN edition!), a help or feedback screen, then use this to your advantage.

Be Subversive

If you're making an AJAX, SOAP, or HTTP request then just pass along a little more information in the query string to indicate the user doesn't own your software. On your server, alter your behaviour for these users.

You could forget the high score or triage the scores into a list of high scores for pirated users.

Instead of downloading new NIN songs, you could serve out RIAA/MPAA propaganda songs that tell users not to pirate.

Instead of providing a help screen with a list of troubleshooting advice, alter the list with a first step that says, "BUY MY SOFTWARE AND THEN I WILL HELP YOU".

But sir, this is just more work!

True, it is, in the short term.

There's the old software adage, "You can't fight piracy.. those zit faced virgins wouldn't have bought your software anyway."

Now consider a convenient store keeper. He doesn't say, "Those kids wouldn't have bought candy anyway.. let them just steal it!"

Stealing from a faceless corporation is one thing, but the App Store isn't a corporation. It's made up of software from people like you and me. Apple takes a sizable cut for being the proxy between sellers and buyers so this doesn't leave much of a margin for sellers.

In other words: Every penny counts.

If you can catch someone who has pirated your software, and willfully convert them into a buyer, then you've made some cash. If you ignore piracy then you've made nothing.

Homework

Re-read this article, re-read my previous articles. You now have the tools to catch a pirate and hopefully take his money.

Be sure to leave a comment here if these methods have worked for you.

I'll be presenting something really interesting within the coming week, so stay tuned!

8 comments:

amesgames said...

I just launched an app that phones home. We wanted to phone home to track user usage so we could make the app better by enhancing features.

Little did we know that we would be able to compute the crack percentage by dividing the total number of UDIDs seen when phoning home by the units of sales.

We came up with about 30%, which seems to agree with numbers you've posted.

Keep up the good blog!

zero said...

Tn Requin
him advice during this particular scene Nike Air Riftand advises him to attend school. jeans dieselAs the episode plays out Bubbles takes Sherrod to school and assists him to process himself into the school they visit. Chaussures puma
Or another scene in whichTn Requina young kid is found to be driving an Escalade, Air Maxwhere most of the other kids admire him, Wholesale Polo Shirtsas he acts as someone not of his age buttn requincheap nike shox simply because it is accepted into this drug world but wouldn’t necessarily work in a very clean cut type of town.

gmmmocom said...

Are you fighting in Final Fantasy XIV for FFXIV Gil or Final Fantasy XIV Gil?
Can you suffer yourself being called newbie in FFXIV Gil game?
Are you seeking unofficial Buy FFXIV Gil cheats or Final Fantasy XIV guides in order to make Final Fantasy XIV Gil faster?
Can you get millions of Cheap FFXIV Gil in one day?
Even if you know how to farm Buy Final Fantasy XIV Gil you have to prepare enough Final Fantasy XIV Power Leveling first to buy height class Final Fantasy XIV Items, to upgrade your Final Fantasy XIV characters.
FF14 Gil Then why not Buy FFXIV Gil from us?
In Final Fantasy XIV it's the fastest way FF14 Gil,for you to get rich. We are online 24 hours a day ready and 7 days one week to power up your FFXIV Gil accounts with FFXIV Gil. Here is the best place for the Final Fantasy XIV Online players to buy your Final Fantasy XIV Gil.
We are the professional website in FFXIV GIL sale.FFXIV GIL here,We are professional FFXIV Power Leveling online. We update price every single day to make sure we are the lowest in the market.(we don't compare price with scam sites which uses unbelievable low price to deceive.)
Our slogan:Cheapest price, Fastest delivery, Best service! Final Fantasy Xiv Gil
In the 2 years we are in this field , FFXIV Gilbuilt many business with tens of thousands of customers. They are very satisfied with our service.So if you want to get a log of Cheap FFXIV Gil ,no doubt ,come to our website to buy. Our customer service is ready for you on line now!(WWW,GM MMO,COM Sell FFXIV Gil)

dfadf said...

Microsoft Office
Office 2010
Microsoft Office 2010
Office 2010 key
Office 2010 download
Office 2010 Professional
Microsoft outlook
Outlook 2010
Windows 7
Microsoft outlook 2010

dfadf said...

Microsoft Office
Office 2010
Microsoft Office 2010
Office 2010 key
Office 2010 download
Office 2010 Professional
Microsoft outlook
Outlook 2010
Windows 7
Microsoft outlook 2010

CHEAPSOCCERUNIFORM said...

This is a really quality post.I find this information through Google.Great job.
Now it will be very cold in winter, in order to keep warm yourself, moncler company has provide jackets for you, so it is better to own moncler yourselif as soon as possible. Eeveryone love fashion clothing, polo ralph lauren is very popular all over world, that is my dream to get ralph lauren.We know Ray Ban by America soldier, all of them wear ray ban sunglasses when they walk on the road, it is fashionable for you. Most of people like to wear jeans, it is very modern when wearing true religion jeans in the street.

Cheapsocceruniforms said...

There are many brand from France, also including herve leger, and most of womens stars love wearing herve leger dress when they join in some important party. Now polo ralph lauren is very popular with youthful people, everyone want to get ralph lauren polo shirts, there are lots of online shop which are ralph lauren polo outlet, true religion jeans outlet, it will be convenient for us.

hibeyond said...

black boots

Chocolate

boots


sand boots

Chestnut

boots


gray boots

pink boots

grey boots


pink boots on

sale



Black

Ugg Boots


Chestnut Ugg Boots

Chocolate Ugg Boots

Grey

Ugg Boots


Ugg Boots

On Sale