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Hacker reopens iTunes Music Store back door

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Tuesday, March 22, 2005
News Categories: iTunes

Only a day after Apple blocked the original version of PyMusique,  Jon Lech Johansen says that he has posted an updated version of his software that allows users to once again tap into the iTunes Music Store and buy songs without digital rights management (DRM) protection.

In a post on his blog entitled “So sue me,” Johansen writes: “The iTunes Music Store recently stopped supporting iTunes versions below 4.7 in an attempt to shut out 3rd party clients. I have reverse engineered the iTMS 4.7 crypto which will once again enable 3rd party clients to communicate with the iTMS.”

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“So sue me”???

I’m sure he’ll get his wish.

Posted by FallN in New York, NY on March 22, 2005 at 5:15 PM (PDT)


Apple should hire him.  If he can crack there stuff in less than 24 hours, than maybe he can figure out how to stop others from cracking???

Posted by Mijman2 on March 22, 2005 at 5:16 PM (PDT)


x2! Use it to good use!

Posted by ipodman715 on March 22, 2005 at 5:27 PM (PDT)


This is hilarious, but don’t forget that all this guy is doing is promoting people to use iTunes and Apple will sell more songs on iTunes!
so maybe he already is working for apple and he doesn’t realize it!
i guess it doesn’t help apple that the songs can be played on any device, but in the end the sales apple loses from people using the cracked version will likely be much more offset by the users that end up using itunes more!  but yes, apple should hire him like the virus companies hire virus writers!

Posted by Prem on March 22, 2005 at 5:55 PM (PDT)



Apple…learn a lesson.

Posted by stark23x on March 22, 2005 at 5:57 PM (PDT)


Apple would benefit more from having him on the inside than on the outside :D

Posted by greencoffeebean on March 22, 2005 at 6:03 PM (PDT)


So Sue Me or Sosumi smile


Posted by brent_h on March 22, 2005 at 6:26 PM (PDT)


This is awesome! Keep it goin man, hack the s**t outta them. I’m so sick of these iTunes “updates” when all they do is just block out 3rd party hacks.

Posted by Kloan in Toronto, ON on March 22, 2005 at 6:27 PM (PDT)


huh, page isn’t loading.. anyone else having problems accessing it?? i wonder if they got his ISP to shut him down…

Posted by Kloan in Toronto, ON on March 22, 2005 at 6:28 PM (PDT)


kloan, most have gotten slashdotted. they’re covering it to.

and why would this be such a big deal? to the hacker of to apple? all apple has to do is 4.8, which is coming soon because of the new ipod photo software.

Posted by tumblingwall in u.s. on March 22, 2005 at 6:32 PM (PDT)


i think you mean because of the new operating system… I think the new OS will debut first!

So excited because I will be buying my first mac as soon as it comes out!

Posted by Mijman2 on March 22, 2005 at 7:50 PM (PDT)


If you’re sick of iTunes updates needed to block hacks, then don’t cheer for the hacks wink

I’m surprised Apple was able to implement a quick fix for PyMusique without a new version of iTunes. But a better solution is going to require a new version of iTunes. So get ready to download. Stronger pre-encryption, anyone?

In actual practice this is pretty trivial since you still have to pay for the music. But as a gesture to the record companies who have signed on to Apple’s system, Apple has little choice but to respond.

Realize of course that this hack was possible simply because Apple uses Akamai to efficiently send out music BEFORE it’s purchased, and that means it must be sent out without DRM. Guess what? Microsoft WMA stores do the same thing.

But I guess hackers aren’t as interested in making it easier for Linux users to send money to Microsoft :D

Posted by Nagromme on March 22, 2005 at 9:43 PM (PDT)


That guy is ballzy… Too bad he’ll get sued

Posted by Magmafish in Calgary, Alberta on March 22, 2005 at 11:02 PM (PDT)


Tell me, why he can be sued?

Posted by Kloan in Toronto, ON on March 22, 2005 at 11:26 PM (PDT)


“Tell me, why he can be sued?”

He has breeched a copyright protection system, i.e. same thing when he hacked the DeCSS.

One thing bugs me about this, you have to register within the software to download music, but who are you registering with is it Apple or Jon? Couldn’t Apple just flag the credit card numbers and bar them from the store, they are entitled to choose who they sell too.

Posted by BigTallGuy on March 23, 2005 at 12:39 AM (PDT)


Don’t know about him being sued, but I would think that anyone using his software in the UK would fall foul of the Computer Misuse Act. I think that would cover accessing somebody’s server using unapproved client software without their permission.

Posted by Magic Rabbits in Aberdeen, Scotland on March 23, 2005 at 12:40 AM (PDT)


I have never bought any music online and here are a couple of reasons why…

Firstly, it’s lesser quality than if I’d have bought a CD.

It has DRM which is restrictive - I can play my CD on as many CD players as I like.

Once I’ve bought a CD - I own it. I can sell it or do what I like with it. When I buy a track online, all I have is a licence to use it - and the terms and conditions are already changing (like Apple restrricting the number of other people who can listen to it) - and this will continue to become more restrictive.

Basically - the track is not mine, how I use it is not my decision,  even though I paid for it.

Also, the tracks are in AAC format which works fine for an iPod, but what about my g/f’s iRiver?

No, I’m sorry, but convenience aside (if you really can’t wait until tomorrow until you can go to the shops), there seems no reason why I would want to pay for this inferior service….

Posted by PugRallye on March 23, 2005 at 12:40 AM (PDT)


Jon is a muppet for doing this again.

All he is really acheiving when going on his crusade is pissing off a whole heap of iTunes users by making them update to the latest version after Apple have blocked his hack.

Grow up, get a job and keep your hacks to yourself or one day the rest of us may not even be able to purchase music online.

Posted by Cyberwhore in Perth on March 23, 2005 at 1:17 AM (PDT)


“Don’t know about him being sued, but I would think that anyone using his software in the UK would fall foul of the Computer Misuse Act. I think that would cover accessing somebody’s server using unapproved client software without their permission.”

So if I add an “Internet Explorer only!” paragraph to my website could I then sue anyone who views my site with FireFox?  Cool!  I’ve got me some lawyers to call!

Seriously though, why would people “buy” from the ITMS anyway?  the files are low bitrate, in a format that only a limited number of devices support and you don’t even own them after paying for them.  Sod that!

Posted by phennphawcks on March 23, 2005 at 2:32 AM (PDT)


Exactly my points phennphawcks….

What narks me about this topic though is that the tracks have been bought legally. Everyone got paid.

The real beef Apple have is solely the fact that they can’t restrict your use of what you have properly paid for.

No one is going to use this to “steal” music.

Apple will not lose out on your revenue.

As has been said earlier if you want illegal tracks you will get them easily elsewhere and this would be a drop in the ocean with regards to piracy.

I would imagine that 99% of files illegally tradrd on the net are ripped from CDs.

It’s their (Apple’s) lack of control over something you already bought that they’re moaning about - which worries me.

The subtext of this is “we don’t care that you bought it - we care that we can no longer control it/you”

Posted by PugRallye on March 23, 2005 at 3:05 AM (PDT)

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