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Businesses Microsoft Piracy The Almighty Buck Entertainment

The Windows App Store is Full of Pirate Streaming Apps (torrentfreak.com) 98

Ernesto Van der Sar, reporting for TorrentFreak: When we were browsing through the "top free" apps in the Windows Store, our attention was drawn to several applications that promoted "free movies" including various Hollywood blockbusters such as "Wonder Woman," "Spider-Man: Homecoming," and "The Mummy." Initially, we assumed that a pirate app may have slipped past Microsoft's screening process. However, the 'problem' doesn't appear to be isolated. There are dozens of similar apps in the official store that promise potential users free movies, most with rave reviews. Most of the applications work on multiple platforms including PC, mobile, and the Xbox. They are pretty easy to use and rely on the familiar grid-based streaming interface most sites and services use. Pick a movie or TV-show, click the play button, and off you go. The sheer number of piracy apps in the Windows Store, using names such as "Free Movies HD," "Free Movies Online 2020," and "FreeFlix HQ," came as a surprise to us. In particular, because the developers make no attempt to hide their activities, quite the opposite.
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The Windows App Store is Full of Pirate Streaming Apps

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  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Monday August 21, 2017 @10:07AM (#55056525)
    Is Microsoft still trying to push some kind of app store on Windows users? Has anyone really been there yet?
    • The thing is, Microsoft have a TV and movies section to compete with iTunes/play/amazon.

      Pirate apps would thus deprive them of revenue.

      • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <`bert' `at' `slashdot.firenzee.com'> on Monday August 21, 2017 @12:06PM (#55057143) Homepage

        Piracy has always been microsoft's biggest ally...
        They may pay lip service to anti-piracy efforts, but were it not for piracy microsoft wouldn't be in the position they are in today. Microsoft depend on lock-in and inertia, and a huge proportion of those users who are locked in got that way with pirate versions.

        If you couldn't pirate windows or its applications, then millions of users would have found something else that they could obtain for free, which would likely have resulted in millions more linux users. Many users can't or won't pay for software, and in eastern europe, asia and africa pretty much all software is pirated.

        If there were that many active linux users, there would be very little (if any) windows specific software out there, it would be much easier for users in the west to switch away from windows and many would do so. windows if it still existed at all would end up as an expensive niche brand, rather like osx is, running on expensive niche hardware.

        • So you're saying that even with giving Linux away for free, people prefer to pirate Windows.

          That's an odd thing for an advocate to be asserting.

        • If you couldn't pirate windows or its applications, then millions of users would have found something else that they could obtain for free, which would likely have resulted in millions more linux users. Many users can't or won't pay for software, and in eastern europe, asia and africa pretty much all software is pirated.

          Nonsense, at least when it comes to Windows proper. Pirating Windows 7 involved binary hacks and crap like unplugging the internet during activation, and blocking certain patches that would have negated it. MSFT did a pretty thorough job.

          Like any anti-piracy scheme, it's a cost benefit tradeoff. How much engineering time do you want to put it, and how much can you inconvenience your users? Whatever you do, if there's a will, there will be a way.

    • by slazzy ( 864185 ) on Monday August 21, 2017 @12:09PM (#55057173) Homepage Journal
      All 3 zune users love it, apparently it "plays for sure!"
    • by Ksevio ( 865461 ) on Monday August 21, 2017 @12:57PM (#55057545) Homepage
      I went there once. I was using the new calculator and wanted to report how much it sucked, so I tried the feedback button. Then windows told me it didn't know how to handle it and told me to check the app store. The app store couldn't find anything to do either, so I eventually found the windows 7 calculator from a 3rd party source
    • Is Microsoft still trying to push some kind of app store on Windows users? Has anyone really been there yet?

      I've been there - both on the PC & phone versions of the store, & both are equally worthless. Most of the popular apps that are advertized are not there on either, and the ones that are happen to be pretty worthless!

      Not only is Windows 10 Mobile dead, I suspect the same is almost true of Windows 10 on the desktop. My next desktop/laptop will be a Mac.

      • I suspect the same is almost true of Windows 10 on the desktop

        If you play PC games, you run Windows. There's no change to that on the horizon.

  • by Tukz ( 664339 ) on Monday August 21, 2017 @10:08AM (#55056539) Journal

    And how many of these DOESN'T contain malware?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "Don't" is the word you're looking for.

    • Re:Malware Heaven (Score:4, Interesting)

      by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@NoSpAm.gmail.com> on Monday August 21, 2017 @12:13PM (#55057195) Homepage Journal

      UWP apps from Windows Store run in a container that restricts how much damage malware can do. For extra protection, spin up a copy of Windows 10 in a virtual machine. But I concede that most users aren't going to be using a VM, and many apps are built with Desktop Bridge instead of UWP.

      So to protect users even further, you can set the takedown process in motion. Download each app, search for X-Men films, and report them to Fox. Then search for Star Wars and Avengers films and report them to Disney. Then search for DC films and the other Avengers [wikipedia.org] and report them to Warner Bros.

  • Britain (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Monday August 21, 2017 @10:10AM (#55056543)

    Perhaps Britain should declare war on Windows the same way they have on Kodi. It would make at least as much sense.

    • Re:Britain (Score:5, Interesting)

      by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Monday August 21, 2017 @10:41AM (#55056683)

      It would make more sense. Kodi bans illegal plugins while MS is hosting them on it's app store. The insane crusade against Kodi makes zero sense. Android, Windows and other systems host piracy apps and do less to discourage it than Kodi does.

      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        Well that's the thing, windows is "too big to fail", so it gets a free pass in areas where others are heavily scrutinised.

        For instance, PCI DSS requirement 8.2.1 says:

        8.2.1 Using strong cryptography, render all authentication credentials (such as passwords/phrases) unreadable during transmission and storage on all system components.

        Windows stores user passwords using the NTLM algorithm, which is based on MD4... This is not considered "Strong cryptography", i believe PCI defines acceptable "strong cryptograp

        • Well that's the thing, windows is "too big to fail", so it gets a free pass in areas where others are heavily scrutinised.

          For instance, PCI DSS requirement 8.2.1 says:

          8.2.1 Using strong cryptography, render all authentication credentials (such as passwords/phrases) unreadable during transmission and storage on all system components.

          Windows stores user passwords using the NTLM algorithm, which is based on MD4... This is not considered "Strong cryptography", i believe PCI defines acceptable "strong cryptography" elsewhere in the standard and in doing so explicitly rule out a number of older algorithms.

          If someone is trying to comply with PCI requirements and is not using Active Directory, that's a problem right from the start. Using Active Directory changes the password storage to AES (kerberos).

          • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

            No it doesn't, the passwords are still stored using NTLM, kerberos is only used at the network layer... Don't confuse NTLM authentication with NTLM password hash storage, they are two different (but closely interdependent) things.

            Try running any of the many password hash dumping tools on your domain controller and see what you get out, crackmapexec is good for this.

      • I get the feeling the crusade against Kodi has come about because many don't like the competition.
  • by Big Hairy Ian ( 1155547 ) on Monday August 21, 2017 @10:16AM (#55056565)
    I think the news here is that someone actually browsed the Windows Store
    • Does anyone actually use a lot of Apps on the Windows store? No one in my circle use it AT ALL. Not. One. Single. App. In fact most of the people in my personal circle either stuck with 7 or use complete third party shell replacements for 8.1. Several of them completely gutted all app functionality to get ride of unwanted features.

      Admit it Microsoft. To a lot of us you really screwed up. And just alienating your user base with forced changes to the US is starting to piss us off. You are not hegemo

  • Proof! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 21, 2017 @10:29AM (#55056623)

    Proof that nobody bothers with the Windows app store. If even the RIAA/MPAA don't bother with it, you know it's dead.

    • If the RIAA/MPAA aren't filing takedowns on this software, then the only two reasons that make any sense are:
      A. Nobody browses the Windows Store, even the RIAA/MPAA orMicrosoft's 'content monitoring' team.
      B. These apps are up there to provide a source of illegal services so that Microsoft's remoting monitoring and anti-piracy services can flag the end users in order to send more of those copyright infringement shakedown letters to people who are both stupid enough to still be using windows, and doubly stupi

      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        Or:

        C. Microsoft know full well they are there, but they realise that piracy is a significant way to grow the user base, so they intentionally let it slide hoping it will get more users locked in.

  • (An advertisement for Windows?)

    Still not going to run Windows on my PC.

    Got rid of that chain 10 years ago. Not going to shackle myself again.

  • Say it ain't so (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Monday August 21, 2017 @11:01AM (#55056813)

    There's also apps called 'browsers' who can be used to buy knives, guns, viruses, chemicals, bomb-building materials, cars to run people over..., not only apps violating some imaginary 'intellectual' 'property'.

  • That's good news. Usually, the malware is inside Windows ; now it's outside.
  • by sgrover ( 1167171 ) on Monday August 21, 2017 @11:29AM (#55056963) Homepage
    That the term "blockbuster" and "The Mummy" appeared in the same sentence together. That movie received much hype from the studious but absolutely none from anyone else. To be honest I forgot it existed. Maybe it's mentioned in the pirating apps because that is the only way anyone would ever want to see it?? hmm..
  • by drewsup ( 990717 ) on Monday August 21, 2017 @12:02PM (#55057125)

    I beg to differ, they hid them in the best place possible, the MS App store! Guaranteed to not be seen by anyone!
    I would have posted this on my Lumia 635, but as the browser keeps crashing, as it's ALWAYS done, had to post my Mint laptop.

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