Apple Mac App Store Quickly Becomes Target For Hackers, Pirates

Steve Jobs and Co. raised the curtain on the Apple Mac App Store this week. The Mac App Store is Apple's new marketplace for applications for Mac computers. The Mac App Store is similar to Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPad and lets users download free and paid applications and games to their Macs from iTunes.

But with the launch of the Mac App Store, the storefront immediately became a target for pirates and hackers looking to take down the store, bootleg applications or get paid applications for free.

According to AppleInsider, crackers crafted a cut-and-paste workaround in the Apple Mac App Store that illegally cracks some paid apps. Crackers, or bootleggers, can replace the receipt and signature files in some paid apps, which can be downloaded from third-party sites, with a receipt from a free app that allows the app to run on a Mac unscathed.

Meanwhile, hackers claimed to have built software called Kickback that will let users pirate any applications in the Mac App Store, but hacker group Dissident said that the hack will lay in wait until next month when the hackers feel the Apple Mac App Store will be overloaded with apps it deems "crap."

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"It'll probably take months for the App Store to actually have a bunch of crappy applications and when we feel that it has a lot of crap in it, we'll probably release Kickback," Dissident wrote, according to a report from Gizmodo. "We're not going to release Kickback until well after the store's been established, well after developers have gotten their applications up. We don't want to devalue applications and frustrate developers."

The Apple Mac App Store is seen as a game-changer and is expected to help Apple maintain its stranglehold on application marketplaces.

The Cupertino, Calif., computer giant opened the Mac App Store on Thursday with 1,000 free and paid apps including education, games, graphics and design, lifestyle, productivity, utility and others. The store also offers stand-alone applications from Apple's iWorks and iLife suites and new apps from vendors like Autodesk and Currently, the Mac App Store is available to Snow Leopard users through a software update as part of Mac OS X v10.6.6.