Just hours after a report detailing how to cicrumvent Google’s new Android Market piracy prevention system, the search giant has responded to developer fears in a post on its Android Developer Blog, explaining the reasons behind its implementation and has suggested a tougher, more robust system will be launched soon.
Google says it will be publishing more information on the matter soon but goes on to list a few extra tips for developers to reduce the chances of having their app cracked and addresses issues with its current system:
- The licensing service, while very young, is a significant step forward in terms of protection over the plain copy-protection facility that used to be the norm. In the how-to-pirate piece, its author wrote: “For now, Google’s Licensing Service is still, in my opinion, the best option for copy protection.”
- The licensing service provides infrastructure that developers can use to write custom authentication checks for each of their applications. The first release shipped with the simplest, most transparent imaginable sample implementation, which was written to be easy to understand and modify, rather than security-focused.
- Some developers are using this sample as-is, which makes their applications easier to attack. The attacks we’ve seen so far are also all on applications that have neglected to obfuscate their code, a practice that we strongly recommend. We’ll be publishing detailed instructions for developers on how to do this.
- The number of apps that have migrated to the licensing server at this point in time is very small. It will grow, because the server is a step forward.
- 100% piracy protection is never possible in any system that runs third-party code, but the licensing server, when correctly implemented and customized for your app, is designed to dramatically increase the cost and difficulty of pirating.
- The best attack on pirates is to make their work more difficult and expensive, while simultaneously making the legal path to products straightforward, easy, and fast. Piracy is a bad business to be in when the user has a choice between easily purchasing the app and visiting an untrustworthy, black-market site.
Put simply, Android developers need not worry. Google’s prompt response to the issue proves the company are dedicated to appeasing the developers who help grow the Android operating system with the publishing of their apps.
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