The celebration over the closure of the popular Installous a few days ago has been cut short, as several new services are appearing to fill the gap left in its demise. The new services are offering easy installation of pirated apps, and they even work on devices that have NOT been jailbroken!
The two that have risen to the forefront are Zeusmos and Kuaiyong. While the former has been around for a few months, it has gained significant steam since the exit of Installous. The latter has appeared seemingly from nowhere over the past couple of weeks.
Both services are hazardous to the financial health of app developers, as they offer simple installation of pirated apps, and do not require the device to have been jailbroken in order to accomplish this. Unfortunately, this opens up their user base from the relatively small amount of users who have jailbroken their devices, to any users of iPhones and iPads who wish to run pirated apps.
Zeusmos is offered free to use on jailbroken devices, however, in an interesting twist, it’s only available for a fee on non-jailbroken devices. So you’ll pay to be able to use pirated apps instead of just paying the rightful developers of the apps. ::SIGH!::
The fee is charged for a “cloud plan” in order to install cracked apps, and to provide a “license” and a provisioning profile that allows the installation and use of the pirated apps. The creator of Zeusmos says it’s a way to “try before you buy.”
In addition to enabling the use of cracked apps on the “subscriber” device, the tool allows sharing of the cracked apps with other Zeusmos users by email or a link on Twitter.
The second service, Chinese site Kuaiyong also allows you to install apps from your device, without paying for them. But it performs the task in a different way and is completely free.
The Next Web says: “There are two components to the tool, one which allows for installation of apps directly from your iOS device and the other which is a desktop application that allows install over a cabled connection. Once you use either, iTunes syncing ceases to work, but that hasn’t proved to be too much of a deterrent.”
The Next Web also reports they’ve been in contact with developers who have shown them logs indicating pirated installs of their apps. Some of the logs show the “same” copy of an app being installed by thousands of different users, an indication that the same exact copy is being distributed with the same set of credentials.
Security researchers are warning against using the Kuaiyong service and others like it, as this could be a highly useful way for them to distribute malware to iOS devices.
Apple has been asked for comment on this issue, but no reply from the company has been forthcoming.
The developer of the Zuesmos application has been in contact with The Next Web, and he says that his intent was never to encourage piracy of apps.
“The intent of Zeusmos will be to SOLELY code sign applications. We will not be supporting or encouraging any form of piracy through the link providers or even via search (although they were based off the iTunes API).”
He went on to say that with the next version of Zeusmos, installing or downloading apps unless they’ve made it or own it will be ‘harshly discouraged’.