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PocketMatrix • View topic - Protecting app resources
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Protecting app resources


Protecting app resources

Postby j.edwards » May 4, 2010 @ 8:02am

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Re: Protecting app resources

Postby Dan East » May 4, 2010 @ 1:27pm

I've not heard of that, but I've not been very active in the iPhone scene over the last few months. I implemented something similar, which is to encrypt all files (lua scripts, images, data files, etc) using a symmetrical algorithm with a fixed key. That does not protect the PNGs that are the application icon or the default splash screen, but I don't know that those could be protected as they are loaded by the OS itself.

My hunch is these people doing the rebranding are looking for the low-hanging fruit - apps that can be quickly and easily modified. There really isn't much money to be made like this. Anything making decent money would have to be popular, and popular apps are seen by so many eyes that it would be recognized as a knock off. In that case Apple would pull the app and the fraudsters would not receive payment. There is a long delay between listing an app and actually receiving payment from Apple, so that hurts the chances of the app making any actual money before it can be recognized as a rebrand.

In our case we really wanted to protect the data files in some way because all the game-specific behavior is coded in Lua, so we would literally be distributing a lot of source code plaintext if I didn't have some sort of encryption.

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Re: Protecting app resources

Postby j.edwards » May 4, 2010 @ 1:43pm

Dan, I wasn't keen adding any sort of decent strength encryption because from what I could tell you would need to go registering with some US gov department to get approval/license basically to export encryption. I don't understand it, and don't live in US so not encountered it before. When submitting your app, if you say it uses encryption does it allow certain types through up to a certain key length, encryption type etc?

You can't protect with the app icon or Default.png (well as far as I know). In fact, you can't even have a Default.jpg (it works in the Simulator but not on real devices). I was only referring to the app graphics and other config resource files, including about screen stuff etc.

With rebranding I was a bit concerned with my game because I specifically designed it to be pretty flexible and have it quite configurable - in fact I plan on releasing a second game using pretty much the same code, but with different graphics and configuration.
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Re: Protecting app resources

Postby Dan East » May 4, 2010 @ 1:54pm

I use , and I simply use a key length less than 128 bits.

I really don't see rebranded apps within the app store as a true problem, or as a loss of revenue for the legitimate game (Is a user really going to find and compare the original and rebranded versions, and do a head-to-head comparison before they buy? In that case they would know something fishy is going on.). Users with jailbroken phones running cracked applications is a vastly larger issue. However, my mindset with that is the same as it has always been with Pocket PC - these people wouldn't have bought my app anyway, so I'm not going to lose sleep over it.

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