[Rant] Anti-sideload protection on totally free apps

EnthalpiousKitten

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2021
135
86
28
Visit site
So this is something I see once in a while and it really annoys me. Some free apps, and I don't wanna bring up names just to stay sure of not causing any problems with forum rules or maybe having devs add more protection, have protection against sideloading. Why??? It's useless when an app is completely free, no IAPs and no ads at all, nothing that anyone would pirate. This is extremely annoying, especially when I have secondary devices that I do not wanna log into with any of my Google accounts. I used to just bang my head on the desk for around 5 years over this, but now that I know how to reverse engineer dex bytecode files I can break this stupid protection that protects literally nothing at all. Just destroyed the anti-sideload protection on the original app that first showed me this stupidity was a thing 5 years ago, all by correcting the boolean from the app store install checker to always return a 4-bit 0x1 (0001 in binary) that represents "true". Like I can understand DRM in something with ad support, IAPs, etc... to protect from piracy, but this is just dumb and takes as little as under a minute to defeat like I did now. This garbage is even easier to break than the build expiry date stuff on some early Android abandonware.


Edit: I'd go into further detail on how these systems and such typically work, but since defeating them can sometimes allow for sidestepping other DRM measures, I don't wanna post anything here that could be considered a piracy tutorial or anything illegal like that.
 

fuzzylumpkin

Well-known member
Dec 7, 2012
4,374
926
113
Visit site
It's a developers choice where they want to make their apps available. Maybe they don't want the APK to be injected with malware and then reuploaded somewhere. Or maybe they just want download metrics. But again it's a developers choice where they want their apps to be made available.

You didn't write it, so you don't have rights to it.

I actually agree with you in principle, but it's not our place to tell others what to do with their own creative work.
 

EnthalpiousKitten

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2021
135
86
28
Visit site
It's a developers choice where they want to make their apps available. Maybe they don't want the APK to be injected with malware and then reuploaded somewhere. Or maybe they just want download metrics. But again it's a developers choice where they want their apps to be made available.

You didn't write it, so you don't have rights to it.

I actually agree with you in principle, but it's not our place to tell others what to do with their own creative work.
Oh I totally agree with some of that. It's just annoying to people like me that like to run stuff on any device I want and also keep things preserved (I am a huge abandonware hoarder). Oh and side note, I actually had to do more to the unnamed app due to a delayed crashing issue I mentioned as it actually had native library level anti-sideload stuff so a disassembler and hex editor had to be whipped out and I had to patch some binaries. Kinda insane, this level of protection is more the type you'd see on paid DRM things. It's a totally free app. However I know for a fact that PC emulators are often sold stolen, for example the open-source Limbo PC Emulator was put up for sale by some shady person on Google Play a while back and it is still up costing $7.49 with 500+ downloads which is just insane cause you have no right to resell someone else's open source stuff, lol.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Laura Knotek

Latest posts

Trending Posts

Forum statistics

Threads
936,713
Messages
6,879,808
Members
3,155,437
Latest member
Anna_renea