As most of you will know I am a software developer by trade, with some commercial offerings from my company.
And then there was Marketplace. For commercial devs, something nice to have. But if you have followed the news, the piracy protection for commercial developers is not much to speak of. See this document http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...te%20Paper.pdf.
I will refrain from quoting the obvious mistakes in this document, if you give this thing a read, you will notice them soon enough. What it all comes down to is that there is no copy protection, not even at the advanced level, at least if they implement it in the way I interpret from reading that document.
So today I started up Marketplace and it worked. Hurrah. The current level of protection is making sure the CAB files are deleted upon install - which is obviously not a way to protect anything - but even this, I thought, should easily be circumventable.
Now, because I wanted to see how fast it could be done, I went with a hunch instead of doing any investigation. And that hunch worked like charm. It took me less than five minutes to circumvent this "protection", and get the ability to save the CABs the MarketPlace app downloads to a different folder. As the CAB file is the same for every downloader, you could just give this CAB you payed for out to all your friends.
Obviously I will not disclose the method, because that would be working against other commercial developers, and ultimately myself. It's just to let you know how ridiculously easy it is, and to give fair warning to those looking to sell apps on the Marketplace.
So, the moral of the story is... WTF MICROSOFT?
I know firsthand there is no such thing as perfect copy protection, but this is just plain ridiculous.
What we really need is for apps to be able to use our own copy protection schemes... you know, like the good web-based app stores out there.
EDIT: l3v5y has also succeeded in doing something similar, and it seems the WMPowerUser admin also found another easy way to do it... Yay, and it ain't even out yet!