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iPad newspapers, magazines vulnerable to hacking

updated 11:15 am EDT, Tue October 12, 2010

Adobe fix not yet implemented in apps

A number of iPad publications are currently vulnerable to piracy, says the Huffington Post. With affected apps, the hacking process is described as relatively simple. Users need only root around an iPad with a software tool like iPhone Explorer to copy out a particular PLIST file, responsible for managing an app's download information. After flipping any "purchasable" items to "viewable," the PLIST is copied back, where it then allows people to download issues of a publication for free after choosing to delete non-existent local copies.

Some highlighted examples of hackable publications include two Italian dailies, il Corriere della Sera and la Gazzetta dello Sport, and two American magazines published by Condé Nast, The New Yorker and Wired. Managers at the Italian newspapers say they are investigating the issue; Adobe, which is partly responsible for the Condé Nast apps, initially said it would have a fixed version of Digital Content Viewer for publishers by October 8th, but the New Yorker remains hackable.

The actual extent of magazine and newspaper piracy on the iPad is unknown. Readers have complained, however, that many publications are too expensive to read on a regular basis, since digital issues can cost as much as $5 each, with no option for a cheaper subscription plan. Apple is believed to be working towards iTunes subscription support.

by MacNN Staff





  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Always with us...

    Thieves have alway been part of the human condition. One difference these days, however, is that thieves might actually think they're doing nothing wrong by hacking to steal copyrighted material. These people rarely have an active conscience though so hacking to steal is usually just the tip of the iceberg. They probably steal from their parents and anybody else they come into contact with too.

  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    My, my...

    I was about to post a comment about how this was an unconscionable oversight on Apple's part, and really an unusual one for them -- and then read the end of the article and saw that this is Adobe's independent code, not anything Apple is pushing. This is actually par for the course for those idiots.

    And people want Flash on the iOS why, again?

  1. lockhartt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Somewhat misleading title...

    The issue isn't with the iPad, really, but rather Adobe's Digital Content Viewer used in the creation of these apps (surprise, surprise).

    Title should be "Adobe Digital Content Viewer apps vulnerable to hacking."

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