Windows 8 Store protection cracked, apps can be had for free


Betanews reports that the Windows 8 store’s app protection has been well and truly cracked, allowing even novice users to make trial apps free full versions with only a click of a button.

The hack called Wsservice_crk was released on October 30, 2012 on the My Digital Life forum and allows users to crack Windows Store applications, sideload unsigned apps so that they can be run on Windows 8 Metro and the means to create app packages that can be further redistributed.

Like all cracking software it does of course leave the user at the mercy of the original hacker, and with system files being modified does not just leave a PC potentially less stable, but also in a state where it can not really be trusted for anything important.

The hack also prevents apps from being updated, but there is a onerous work-around for this.

Of course with nearly 90% of apps in the Windows 8 Store free and the rest pretty cheap one wonders what the point of the hack really is.

A Microsoft spokesperson told BetaNews the company is looking into reports of the cracking software.

  • redtidal

    Geeze, that didn’t take long.

  • ma

    and if there were any apps worth cracking that would be news

    • stealthcrawler

      You’re right actually. I’ve been patient for 2 years now. Ever since wp7 first came out. They’ve had time…devs have had time. I even bought W8 on launch day and even purchased the 920 and the Surface(returned now). I use an iPad as well and I’m not even an heavy app user. But the overall average quality of apps in the store is just sad. There are a few very good ones…but a LOT of bad ones. The average quality is much much worse in Windows 8 when compared to iOS. And the argument that you’re comparing a mobile OS app to Win8 doesn’t really help as MOST..if not all of Windows 8 (Modern UI) apps are meant for mobile use and are mostly consumption apps. That argument hurts W8 even more as apps of a bonafide mobile OS (iOS) are beating apps on a full fledged OS.

      • Njoi Fontes

        Are you seriously comparing Windows 8 apps (which have only had a month to be released) to ios? Are you kidding? The marketplace has over 20,000 in a month which is fenomenal and indicative that in a couple of months there virtually won´t be any importante app missing out. So stop making it sound like you are giving Windows 8 a fair shot and try to learn some patience

      • koenshaku

        You can’t expect apps to magically appear on a newly launched platform. You thinking otherwise is just a display of your ignorance. I am surprised someone like you even reads this site. Before I purchased a windows phone I checked the marketplace online for my most frequently used apps before purchasing one. Learn to research products before forking over your hard owned money noob.,,

  • readitbetter

    Damn my app =(

    • blackhawk556

      Don’t worry. I won’t download your app.
      Release an ad supported app and I’ll give it a try instead of downloading cracked apps.

    • Link68759

      Don’t be like the RIAA and pretend that piracy screwed you over- if someone pirates your app, they probably weren’t going to buy it if they couldn’t pirate it. So it’s not a lost sale, it’s actually free publicity. In the likely event that MS patches the system up soon, they’ll lose access to your app and might just buy it after having taken it for a test drive, so to speak.

      • Kamran Rastegar

        I used to think like you; but its just a fallacy to pretend people who
        pirate wouldnt have bought the app anyway. Thats just clear BS. My friend was telling me that he was going to pirate sleeping dogs until he noticed that due to
        DMCA, all the usenet nzbs didnt work. He ended up buying it. i thought you
        said people who would pirate an app wouldnt buy it? You need to
        understand there are fallacies and assumptions on both sides of this
        piracy argument. there are PLENTY of people who probably would have bought something, but wanted to save a few bucks so they downloaded it. Its a fact and you know it

        • Link68759

          If the game/software is broken because of DRM, then he didn’t really have a choice, now did he? Think before you open that mouth of yours. I’m sure there are a small number of people that might pay if piracy weren’t an option, but the vast majority of pirates are poor/broke kids in school and people in countries where they can’t even legally buy the content because it isn’t being sold in their country.

  • blackhawk556

    I want the ability to change the background to what ever I want. It would be cool to download any app, but if that means the original hacker can have some type of back door to my Surface, then screw that. I’ll continue downloading free apps.

    • Link68759

      That was just scare tactics on the journalist’s part- this doesn’t actually happen. Hackers making public releases to a community (ie not just torrents) are generically “ethical hackers”, and something like this being released is under the scrutiny of other hackers and power users.
      Also, if any kind of “backdoor” were possible on the RT and in circulation, you can bet your ass we’d know about it. There’s a lot of constructive uses for that which we obviously don’t have.

  • Dexter

    That should make all you developers learn the key lesson: NEVER use the existing mechanism to protect your apps (like the one present in Windows Store). Always offer ONLY trial apps, set them to be FREE (instead of TRIAL), and use your own method to sell keys which convert those apps to full versions. Shortly said – do NOT distribute full versions on Windows Store. Big games do that – they can’t be bought from Windows Store but only on physical media (CD/DVD), while sometimes they do offer a demo on the Store.

    • Dexter

      P.S. I knew this would be cracked soon. Even I came close to cracking a trial app to first make it work with multiple accounts on the same device (the Store only allows one trial per device), and then fully cracking it (making it think it’s a full version). And all that without cracking system files (just change some config files & registry of Windows Store and the game itself). It’s so easy.

    • Link68759

      so the lesson here is, a few people get your app for free (when in all likelihood they weren’t going to pay for it if they couldn’t get it for free) so you fuck over all paying customers with your annoying as shit in app DRM that prevents legitimate buyers from easily using your app on different devices?

  • NorwegianThirtySomething

    Yeah, because paying 5 or 10 bucks for something worthwhile is really tough on folks. Keep this up, and all we’ll have are apps with lots of nice little blinking banners on them.

  • Mark

    Same thing happened with the WP7 marketplace early on.

  • ExactTriump

    And in a month or so Microsoft releases a fix to address this exploit and ‘closes’ all accounts that violated the Terms of Agreement by using this hack. I wouldn’t dare risking that…

  • Scubadog

    I would love to see people who create these hacks arrested and put in prison. I’m sick of these fools. This is why we have an entitlement society, nothing but a bunch takers who would rather demand things free from those who are producers. They need to pay the consequences.

  • techblogger

    I’m not putting hacker BS on my Surface. Apps are cheap. Pay the developer for his work. F stealing it. Don’t want to pay for apps? That’s what android is for.

    • siddharthbandhu

      “Pay the developer for his work. Don’t want to pay for apps? That’s what android is for.”

      Like a boss 😉

  • Dejan Tomić

    Guys, you really think this CAN be patched? It could be if this was just a configuration change or an exploit of a system bug… But this thing CRACKS system files! So there is NO bug, and therefore nothing that can be fixed… The tool MAKES a bug in the system! They could only change the files in order to make the hackers crack the whole thing all over again, but it can’t really be stopped….

    P.S. Waiting for the Windows 10 version of the crack…