SOFTWARE THAT STRIPS the digital restrictions management (DRM) locks from Windows Phone 7 (WP7) applications has been developed.
According to Ars Technica, Freemarketplace removes Microsoft's encryption protection, enabling the applications to be used without charge.
The software exploits a flaw in raw installation packages or "XAP" files, which means they can be freely downloaded. This works because the Zune client software downloads XML files with all the package locations to enable application browsing and installation, and both the XML and XAP files are served without restriction.
This did not mean that the apps could be illegally downloaded until the XDA-developers forum showed how to take one of these XAP files and modify it to allow it to deploy and run.
Forum administrators deleted the post, but the cat was already out of the bag.
Now an unnamed developer claims to have come up with a proof-of-concept method that modifies the XAP files in such a way as to allow them to be deployed.
In short, this means that any application in the Windows Phone 7 apps store can be nicked.
The developer has not distributed Freemarketplace or described how it works in any detail, as his intention is to demonstrate the problem to get the Vole to fix the security problems it has with its apps store.
However he warned that it took him only six hours to figure it out, so he is fairly sure that illegal downloaders will be able to work it out too.
The WP7 Marketplace is growing and has 5,000 applications. That's not many compared to Apple's Itunes apps store for Iphones and Google's Android Market, but even this many is surprising since there are unlikely to be more than a few people actually using the Vole's WP7 phone apps store. µ
Looks like someone pressed the wrong button on the routing machine
Half-Life 3 VR anyone
Whilst some old favourites graduate to the main browser