March 21, 2005 11:51 AM PST

iTunes hack disabled by Apple

Apple Computer has closed a security hole that allowed an underground program to tap into its iTunes Music Store and purchase songs stripped of antipiracy protections.

The PyMusique software, created by a trio of independent programmers online, emerged last week as a copy protection-free back door into the popular iTunes store. One of the creators was Jon Johansen, the Norwegian programmer responsible for releasing DVD-copying software in 1999.

Apple released a statement Monday saying the problem had been fixed, and that some iTunes customers would need to upgrade their software.

"The security hole in the iTunes Music Store which was recently exploited has been closed, and as a consequence the iTunes Music Store will now sell music only to customers using iTunes version 4.7," the company said in a statement.

Like all other digital music companies, Apple has been dealing continually with hackers intent on finding ways around the antipiracy protections that are added to songs as they are sold online. The company has upgraded its iTunes software several times to block unauthorized programs' access.

Johansen has been one of the most persistent of those programmers, releasing several tools that have helped others tap into the inner workings of the iTunes software, and even remove the copy protections.

PyMusique itself was the creation of several different programmers, including 17-year-old Pennsylvania high school student Cody Brocious, who last week said he was simply trying to create a way for Linux-based computers to use the iTunes store.

A test of PyMusique on Monday morning showed that it was still able to preview songs in the iTunes music store, but no longer able to purchase music.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the company is considering legal action on the issue.

Only about 15 percent of iTunes users would be affected by the need to upgrade to the latest version of the software, the company said in its statement.

10 comments

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And next week..
There will be a new way to strip music of unfair DRM.

DRM is a bad idea, whose time needs to end soon. Content providers need to concentrate more on not producing garbage content, and less on trying to protect said garbage from fair use.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No worries
I don't buy said garbage so it is all good. Besides I guy borrow a friend's music or buy a used CD to copy of my DRM free MP3es. :P

Right now I can expend such little energy to circumvent DRM services it isn't an issue to me.

The informed consumer is the smart consumer. Buying from the right places in the right formats means you have the freedom you need now and into the future.

Lazy, ignorant consumers can whine when company's close the door on their rights but won't get sypathy from me.
Posted by zeroplane (286 comments )
Link Flag
Here here!
Word up. And those of us who aren't lazy and stupid will
continue buying used cd's.. USED because it comes from a
reseller who doesn't give any money to the record label or
distributor for its sale AND because its cheaper than the legal
digital option, and CDs because they're DRM-free and can be
made into digital while you get to keep a hard copy for no extra
expense.
Posted by montgomeryburns (109 comments )
Link Flag
Correction!...
Jons DeCSS was NOT DVD-copying software, it only decrypted the content!.
You don't need DeCSS for copying, bur for viewing.

Plese get you facts right from now on...
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Vicious Cycle
What a vicious cycle... Apple keeps creating new software for iTunes, which in turn continues to be hacked into, in which Apple creates newer software, and so on and so on.

This problem is only a tempory fix until the hackers find another way in... it's inevitable.

iTunes Hack Disabled... <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://allwaysmusic.modblog.com/" target="_newWindow">http://allwaysmusic.modblog.com/</a>

---
Posted by (59 comments )
Reply Link Flag
iTunes for Linux
For those who would like to have iTunes ported under Linux, go there and tell it to Apple <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/feedback/itunes.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/feedback/itunes.html</a>
Posted by M.Rick (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
iTunes for Linux won't happen
hate to break the news, but Apple will never, ever come out with a Linux version of iTunes. Too small of a market, plus most linux users don't have the funds for the Music Store or iPods. Sad kinda, but the bottom line is it will never happen.

Just get a Mac mini and use iTunes that way.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/macmini" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/macmini</a>
Posted by OS11 (844 comments )
Link Flag
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