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When Apple launched the App Store, they suggested that the use of DRM'd and signed applications could allow them to protect the iPhone from malicious applications and suggested that they could deactivate such applications remotely. Jonathan Zdziarski, author of iPhone Forensics reveals (via iPhone Atlas) the remote url that Apple is using to keep a list of the offending applications:

https://iphone-services.apple.com/clbl/unauthorizedApps

This url appears to keep a list of black listed apps which appears to contain a test application name. Zdziarski explains:
“This suggests that the iPhone calls home once in a while to find out what applications it should turn off. At the moment, no apps have been blacklisted, but by all appearances, this has been added to disable applications that the user has already downloaded and paid for, if Apple so chooses to shut them down.

“I discovered this doing a forensic examination of an iPhone 3G. It appears to be tucked away in a configuration file deep inside CoreLocation.”
Note that this is very different from just removing an application from the App Store. In case of this black listing, Apple could presumably deauthorize applications already installed on iPhones.

While Apple has been criticized lately for the removal of a number of App Store applications without explanation, those applications continue to work for those individuals who have already purchased the application. So far that list of prominent apps simply removed from the App Store include NetShare, BoxOffice and now I Am Rich (via Alley Insider).

We suspect Apple will reserve the use of this black list remote-deactivation for truly malicious apps, but even the unilateral removal of seemingly innocuous apps from the App Store has raised some criticism of Apple's editorial process.

Article Link
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,938
1,273
Washington DC
Well, a necessary evil.

As long as the use it responsibly, I have no problem with it. So far they're working at 100% "ok." I won't complain until that changes.
 
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eastcoastsurfer

macrumors 6502a
Feb 15, 2007
600
27
This is exactly the problem with a closed phone and the app store. Everyone will say it's fine until Apple turns off an app they think is useful/fun/paid for/whatever.
 
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whooleytoo

macrumors 604
Aug 2, 2002
6,600
694
Cork, Ireland.
It all depends on how/when they use it.

Given they don't give too much scrutiny to apps before they put them up on the store, they have to have some way of stopping them once they're out there.

p.s. I should also add: I REALLY hope this is implemented securely. Can you imagine the trouble a hacker could cause if they were able to 'spoof' the blacklist and blacklist all apps?
 
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iOrlando

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2008
1,811
1
If apple closes an app.they should restore the cost to the user. I know...almost impossible to do..but doesnt that seem fair?
 
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megatronbomb

macrumors 6502
Oct 26, 2007
267
55
Portland, OR
Apple has really got to work on the App store. Their lack of communication to developers who have put a lot of time and work into apps that just disappear, the slowness of "approving" new apps, the organization of the store, etc. There's so much potential, but the execution has been bumpy.
 
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antielectrons

macrumors newbie
May 11, 2008
23
0
No thanks. I like my freedom, not some corporation telling me what I can do with my phone. Apple have gone too far already :mad:
 
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arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,984
5,146
I thought they should have kept "I am Rich" in the app store. I don't think they need to start passing judgement over quality. Just make sure it doesn't crash, cause problems, or break their rules.

I suspect NetShare and BoxOffice removals were on some technicality and will return, though they need to tell developers when they pull their apps.

arn
 
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megatronbomb

macrumors 6502
Oct 26, 2007
267
55
Portland, OR
If apple closes an app.they should restore the cost to the user. I know...almost impossible to do..but doesnt that seem fair?

Yes. If a person buys an app in good faith, only to have Apple decide (based on whatever criteria) that the app should be revoked, then Apple should credit the purchaser.

Depending on the situation, I would have less of a problem with Apple not reimbursing the developer, particularly if the developer was being overtly malicious, etc.
 
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fastbite

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2007
682
0
London
Why is I Am Rich removed?! 1.0.1 was going to include costume colors and a choice of jewels! And a Lite version for only 552 bucks was ready... Screw art i guess...
 
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Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,938
1,273
Washington DC
Gee, just like every store on the planet Apple decides what it wants to have in its store. Maybe the critics should build their own phone and store. What a bunch of crybabies.

Really? What store do YOU shop at that has the right to come back to your house and steal what you bought from them?

I think this plan is a good security precaution for Apple and approve of its existence. But saying it's "just like every other store" is a bit strange. I know of NO other store like that!
 
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pacohaas

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2006
516
3
So first apple would have to approve an app, then add it to their own malicious app list because they approved something they shouldn't have? I guess it's good that they left themselves a backout plan...
 
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chas0001

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2006
804
0
Alicante, SPAIN
I would be pretty annoyed if I purchased an application and Apple decided to disable it. Especially as they never give a reason for anything they do (unless pressurized).

Still waiting for the 'I am Poor' application though.
 
Comment

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,984
5,146
Gee, just like every store on the planet Apple decides what it wants to have in its store. Maybe the critics should build their own phone and store. What a bunch of crybabies.

Apple needs to communicate with their developers. It's mutual relationship.

If Apple wants developers to create quality apps for the iPhone, they need to work with the developers. It's not comforting that Apple cut off your business's entire income with no warning and no explanation.

Note: there are two issues. Deactivating malicious apps is fine, and I don't think anyone would disagree with it. Removing Apps from App Store is "ok" too, but they just need to tell devs why so they can remedy it.

arn
 
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markrich

macrumors newbie
Feb 8, 2005
19
0
Seems very fair

I would hope that Apple would contact those who bought the app to let them know why it no longer worked but this is sensible. Better to keep the nasty apps out which could hurt the phone or worse still spread and hurt others.

One would hope, however, that if the app approval system is working this shouldn't be necessary and would be only for the most severe problems.
 
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Loge

macrumors 68030
Jun 24, 2004
2,743
1,247
England
If apple closes an app.they should restore the cost to the user. I know...almost impossible to do..but doesnt that seem fair?

Apple knows each account's purchase history so it should be easy to do, for anyone who still has an active iTunes account.
 
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Kwill

macrumors 68000
Mar 10, 2003
1,595
1
This is a good thing. Should Apple discover that something is harming iPhones or sapping network performance, it should be disabled remotely.
 
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FreeState

macrumors 68000
Jun 24, 2004
1,730
112
San Diego, CA
Really? What store do YOU shop at that has the right to come back to your house and steal what you bought from them?

I think this plan is a good security precaution for Apple and approve of its existence. But saying it's "just like every other store" is a bit strange. I know of NO other store like that!

Software is not handled the same way as physical goods. You do not own the software you buy in the App store.

http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/appstore/us/terms.html

4. LICENSE OF PRODUCTS. The software products made available through the Service (the “Products”) are licensed, not sold, to you.
 
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Manatee

macrumors 6502a
Oct 20, 2003
569
128
Washington DC
I thought they should have kept "I am Rich" in the app store. I don't think they need to start passing judgement over quality. Just make sure it doesn't crash, cause problems, or break their rules.

arn
I was looking forward to reports from people with "one-click purchase" activated, who accidentally bought it. :)
 
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sd452

macrumors newbie
Jan 22, 2008
3
0
Right On Apple

Protect my iPhone from bad software. That's the point!
 
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JML42691

macrumors 68020
Oct 24, 2007
2,082
2
I am glad that Apple has this ability to deactivate apps that could cause harm to a user's iPhone or iPod, but I hope that they limit it to harmful apps only, not apps like BoxOffice or NetShare. They should not deactivate an app like NetShare even if a cell carrier requests it.

But Apple needs to work on their communications with application developers, when an app has been removed for this long like NetShare or BoxOffice, the developer needs to be told why, this is just unacceptable on Apple's part.
 
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Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,938
1,273
Washington DC
Software is not handled the same way as physical goods. You do not own the software you buy in the App store.

http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/appstore/us/terms.html

4. LICENSE OF PRODUCTS. The software products made available through the Service (the “Products”) are licensed, not sold, to you.

I'm a little confused why you're telling me this.

If you're making a point I'm afraid it's passed right over my head because this looks exactly like the point I was making. But I'm assuming you were trying to make a different point than I did, so I just have to admit that I don't understand.
 
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