Google's recently implemented anti-piracy system for developers has proven to be largely ineffective, white hat hacker Justin Case discovered today. Despite supposedly giving tighter reins over apps, Android License Verification Library (ALVL) has been cracked quickly by making a simple code patch that tricks Android into believing an app has a valid license to run on the system. In a demo to Android Police, case noted the approach doesn't require root access to the OS and could be automated to use a script to patch apps for inexperienced users.
Spokespeople from Google haven't commented on the findings.
The company's official Licensing Service is believed to be more effective, but the discovery potentially jeopardizes Android's app market by trivializing piracy for anyone hoping to monitor piracy themselves. A lack of security could sabotage hopes to increase the number of commercial-grade Android apps, which has already been an issue as most Android apps are free and often made by small or hobbyist developers rather than veterans.
Piracy is an issue on the iPhone as well, but it requires jailbreaking the phone to run apps without a signature approval from Apple itself. The App Store is currently the most successful portal and has both more apps than Android market, at 225,000 versus 100,000 or less, and well as more paid, profesionally-made titles.