Cracking and pirating Windows Store apps is now possible

If you're feeling particularly dodgy today, perhaps an application to steal paid Windows Store applications is up your alley. Despite Microsoft's best efforts to make the Store secure, Betanews has discovered an application posted on My Digital Life that can be used to turn trial applications on the Store into fully paid applications with the press of a single button.

This app has been available for some time as well, with Wsservice_crk first being released on October 30, before receiving several updates. Once you've patched a few of your system files you can turn free trial applications available on the Store into full versions with little trouble, and there's also a program to sideload unsigned apps onto your computer if you want to bypass Microsoft's Store verification.

Naturally there are some drawbacks to using the cracking service; for example, the application you want to pirate must have a free trial available in the Store. Secondly, apps cannot be updated via the Windows Store, requiring you to uninstall the cracking service from your system if you want to update anything, before having to reinstall it to patch the app again. And of course patching system files could potentially cause issues down the track.

We imagine Microsoft is already on the case of looking for ways to patch out this issue and prevent piracy, as it could lead to developers withholding trial applications in fear that their paid applications will be stolen.

Source: Betanews

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

More Windows Phone 8 "Meet Your Match" videos posted

Next Story

Discuss: One month after release, how do you feel about Windows 8 and Surface?

50 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I can see where reporting this is good for the company to get the news out there so perhaps allow it to be corrected. But it also informs the uninformed that its possible. Not to mention the location to where the needed information even resides. Yeah lets blur out the title of the application but tell you where it comes from. One click on Windows 8 and you are there. Good job people.

Will this stop developers coming to the OS, no. This is windows people. Secondly, what OS doesn't have piracy. Its the way of the world. Suck it up and go with the flow.

That being said, neowin's policy on anti-piracy has always been lacks when it comes to news articles that will grab headlines. However, when you mention a single word about possibly doing something of somewhat shaddy measures, you get the beating stick.

O double standards how I love thy.

This is journalism, and a worthy news item, as it helps to inform the masses of a reasonably serious flaw. Isn't democracy also about freedoms and choices? People have a choice as to what they do with this information; Microsoft also have a choice as to how they will improve this service for everyone.
I don't believe censorship has any place in a 'truely' democratic scenario.

Yes, and this way you drive away the people who are doing a nice job making little apps for little prices. I see this behavior everywhere, people refuse to spend some money on an app they use every day.
You use a pirated Windows version as well......?

<sigh>

You're given a trial, for goodness sakes. If you're too cheap to purchase an app you like, you are going to make it bad for the rest of us when they start implementing more and more security precautions. Either get a job and pay for what you want or don't use it.

Dutchie64 said,
This.

So $0,99 is too much now? Getting so tired of this stuff sometimes.......

we don't do what we do because we are cheap.
For example i have a pay as you go phone and i have made a program for it in c++
that hacks teh phone so you can use content from anywhere rather than the limited selection of crap the isp hands out for a fee. And if i was being cheap i wouldn't let my balance on the phone expire over and over throwing money down the drain when i could simply purchase an app before the money in the account expires.
I made my app fixed some bugs shared it online and never really used it again..
I don't need stupid little apps. they are all crap, including the games.
Oh and the main reason i did it was because as usual opinionated blow hards were saying it couldn't be done.. the DRM used was unbreakable. lol
So I was the first and still am the only one who cracked the system..
Note: "They" were very wrong lol ..there was no drm involved at all lol

You'd be living in a different world if it wasn't for people like me..
going back to when the Wozniak was phreaking should tell ya something.
did he do it because he didn't want to spend a dime on a phone call ?

I get tired of this too

You cannot seriously think it is good to be sharing information such as this on the front page. This isn't journalism. This is harming developers who are asking for next to nothing for their Metro Apps. Find your conscience Neowin.

ccoltmanm said,
If I posted this in the forums I would get a warning.

Oh no! Not a warning! And they didn't say where to to get, how to use, or report anything that other legit sites haven't already.

farmeunit said,

Oh no! Not a warning! And they didn't say where to to get, how to use, or report anything that other legit sites haven't already.


It does say where to get it.
"application posted on My Digital Life "

ccoltmanm said,
If I posted this in the forums I would get a warning.

Guys there's this app from My Digital Life you can get to install Office for free on any PC!

^ Let's wait and watch nothing happen now, shall we?

Microsoft ignored the store security on purpose, it's just another conspiracy designed to manipulate Windows 8 haters into adopting the failed touchscreen os.. /s

Actually, I'm excited to see the legitimate opportunities this creates--namely, sideloading custom metro apps. That should be interesting.

gonchuki said,
And that's why you don't try to create a walled garden on the PC. Lesson learned Microsoft?

Yeah, because this is the first time any sort of crack has been created hey?

Ideas Man said,

Yeah, because this is the first time any sort of crack has been created hey?


Not implying that, but other platforms simply took years to have a proper crack, while on a naturally OPEN ecosystem like the PC it just took one month. And for platforms read it as even Blu-Ray players, where cracking the encoding algorithm took about 2-3 years, not just speaking console-wise or Android vs Windows vs iOS shenanigans here.

I love VS coders who do hundreds of lines of work then leave the default frigging icon!

Edited by ingramator, Nov 27 2012, 1:38am :

ingramator said,
I love VS coders who do hundreds of lines of work then leave the default frigging icon!

some don't care about a stupid little icon. I for one don't.

ingramator said,
I love VS coders who do hundreds of lines of work then leave the default frigging icon!

This always irritates me too. I have a program I have to use for work and I get to look at that icon on any number of child windows... I mean, come on!

No Illegal Software/Copyrighted Discussion.
Discussions involving warez, cracks, security circumvention, using torrents for downloading copyrighted or illegal material is strictly prohibited. This includes music files or other unauthorized software. Asking for help in doing so will cause warns or suspensions of accounts.

Enron said,
No Illegal Software/Copyrighted Discussion.
Discussions involving warez, cracks, security circumvention, using torrents for downloading copyrighted or illegal material is strictly prohibited. This includes music files or other unauthorized software. Asking for help in doing so will cause warns or suspensions of accounts.

"These rules apply to the forums, comments system on our news and any blogs created here."

Enron said,
No Illegal Software/Copyrighted Discussion.
Discussions involving warez, cracks, security circumvention, using torrents for downloading copyrighted or illegal material is strictly prohibited. This includes music files or other unauthorized software. Asking for help in doing so will cause warns or suspensions of accounts.

Yes, and lets just advertise here on Neowin where to get said app, contradiction or what?

Scorpus said,

"These rules apply to the forums, comments system on our news and any blogs created here."

So it's a case of Do as I say, not do as I do?

Scorpus said,

"These rules apply to the forums, comments system on our news and any blogs created here."

In any case, this article is highly suggestive and should have been avoided in its current form!

In the past week, I've learned that people can successfully pirate the OS and now the apps too. Desperate for hits?

Enron said,
No Illegal Software/Copyrighted Discussion.
Discussions involving warez, cracks, security circumvention, using torrents for downloading copyrighted or illegal material is strictly prohibited. This includes music files or other unauthorized software. Asking for help in doing so will cause warns or suspensions of accounts.

Except they don't tell you were to get it, how to use, or anything that other legitimate sites aren't telling you.

farmeunit said,

Except they don't tell you were to get it, how to use, or anything that other legitimate sites aren't telling you.

except they are telling everyone what it is how to use it and where to get it lol
whether other sites are doing stuff doesn't matter does it ?

most apps are free with pay-to-play options later down the track via in app purchasing unless they can be cracked I don't see any point to this, there is only a few apps which have any real value to them

Who are you? Boris from Goldeneye? You need a Microsoft account to download apps and if you have pro apps but no history of payment, you'll probably get banned XBox Live style.

Davo said,
Who are you? Boris from Goldeneye? You need a Microsoft account to download apps and if you have pro apps but no history of payment, you'll probably get banned XBox Live style.

It outlines a method of sideloading apps.

You are quite correct in the last part of your statement...which is why I pointed it out.

I won't say why though since people get all sorts of upset when I bring it up.

Sorry, I was referring to LaP. I half expected him to jump up and say "I'm invincible" after that poorly worded rant.

Sideloading apps is exciting but I've never understood the allure of using cracked apps on iPhone/Android. Keygens on Windows make me uneasy as it is, let alone the whole app being cracked and having any sort of permissions on your phone. Doing it with a way of being identified is the pinnacle of stupidity.

LaP said,
So Windows 8 scan our PC for cracked app. Good to know another reason not to install windows 8.


Windows XP, vista and 7 does as well

Davo said,
Who are you? Boris from Goldeneye? You need a Microsoft account to download apps and if you have pro apps but no history of payment, you'll probably get banned XBox Live style.

I assume software is not only account based, but also system, so other users can use this same software, if they cannot that is more than enough reason to never purchase anything from Microsoft Store.

But lets assume they can, that would mean they cannot use your method as a basis to determin this, not without scanning the system and all accounts on it to see if any of them purchased the software, this would get them into some serious trouble.

JaredFrost said,

I assume software is not only account based, but also system, so other users can use this same software, if they cannot that is more than enough reason to never purchase anything from Microsoft Store.

But lets assume they can, that would mean they cannot use your method as a basis to determin this, not without scanning the system and all accounts on it to see if any of them purchased the software, this would get them into some serious trouble.

Metro apps are tied to the Microsoft Account. That's why this type of software exists, to circumvent that protection.

That's why I made that post earlier. I can't say more than what I said earlier without getting myself into trouble.

Shane Nokes said,

Metro apps are tied to the Microsoft Account. That's why this type of software exists, to circumvent that protection.

That's why I made that post earlier. I can't say more than what I said earlier without getting myself into trouble.

So you're saying someone that purchases Office through the Microsoft Store is the ONLY person on that PC that can use the full paid version? all others will show it as the free? and the same goes for any other app on the Microsoft Store?

And why exactly aren't people kicking up a storm about this? that is a horrible design.

I was imagining a system much like the Xbox licensing system, where it is tied to the account AND the system, so the paid user could use it on any system, but anyone using the same system it was purchased from could also use it.

Toysoldier said,
Wow this took long enough to become public, much simpler than how I was doing it.

Why would you admit to stealing apps? A lot of work goes into them and they're hardly expensive to begin with...

M_Lyons10 said,

Why would you admit to stealing apps? A lot of work goes into them and they're hardly expensive to begin with...

I never admitted to stealing apps, With win32 apps it is easy to pirate them, but in order to stop the pirates you must know how they work, ie by using Reflection, De-obfuscation, Hex Editing.

With the app store Microsoft have removed alot of the control we have over protecting our apps, If I am going to release software in the app store I need to know they are doing their best to protect my apps.

Another problem is reverse engineering, any child with half a brain can get the source code from a complied VB/C# .Net application, So I also need to make sure my hard work isn't leeched and cloned.

Not everyone is a criminal M_Lyons10.

M_Lyons10 said,

Why would you admit to stealing apps? A lot of work goes into them and they're hardly expensive to begin with...

Peopel don't steal becausew of the price of something, peopel steal because a way is made for them to do so. many apps on iOS are only .99 and yet peopel steal them. Price isn't the issue. The fact peopel have low moral standards are the problem.

But here is where I become frenk. These same theives will want you dead if you steal something they own.

Much like Steve Jobs. Perfectly ok to steal other peoples IP, but if someone looks to be stealing from you, they want to sue them out the market.

NONE of Microsoft products cost to much. Peopel steal them because they can or a way is made.