07-14-2015 04:12 AM
75 123
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  1. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    Likely as tgp said above. The actual percentage of the apps being ripoffs doesn't really warrant much attention. Best we can do, and something MS recommends is reporting the app if it is sketchy, or breaking the TOS set by MS.
    When I find apps that are counterfeit, I don't just report them to Microsoft. I also report them to the developers who have the copyright. For example, I found counterfeit Firefox apps in the Windows Phone Store. I reported those to both Microsoft and Mozilla.
    05-23-2015 01:10 AM
  2. Timbre70's Avatar
    For WP, any possibility that these fake apps might steal your personal data?
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    05-23-2015 01:27 AM
  3. Mike9k's Avatar
    Likely as tgp said above. The actual percentage of the apps being ripoffs doesn't really warrant much attention. Best we can do, and something MS recommends is reporting the app if it is sketchy, or breaking the TOS set by MS.
    60% of the top ranks in US new+rising isn't enough to warrant much attention?

    When I find apps that are counterfeit, I don't just report them to Microsoft. I also report them to the developers who have the copyright. For example, I found counterfeit Firefox apps in the Windows Phone Store. I reported those to both Microsoft and Mozilla.
    That won't help much in this situation. It will take some time until they get removed after the original publisher sends a complain. Also they can just resubmit it with a new publisher name and stolen icon. My research, the complaint from the original publisher and micorosofts takedown is probably more work than it is for them to submit it and they are the only ones who earn something with it.

    Since I made the list there are already 4 new ones of this kind in the top 48 (in two days).
    New ones of this kind as of today: rank 6:Pumpkin Zombie Rider, rank 8:Into the Whirlpool, rank 8:Pixel Mario, rank 19:Wilderness Defense. (From: Chasing Zombies, Raving Rabbids(splash), Pixel Hunter, Forest Tower Defense(also stolen))
    All of them with release date between 5/17/2015 and 5/18/2015. I don't really have the time to search every other day or so for the 4 new stolen games and their original source to inform the publisher & microsoft and if lucky see how they stay there for a week until taken down. Its not like I get paid cleaning up the top 48. When someone has found a way to fill the top ranks with their stolen apps micosoft has to fix first the ranking loophole they use otherwise its tilting at windmills.
    05-23-2015 04:01 AM
  4. Mike9k's Avatar
    Additionally concerning using the normal report route and contact the original owner: its sometimes difficult to find the original one. Here is an example of rereleasing with new publisher (all of them are still in the store, oldest to newest release date):

    t9owvqm.jpg

    The first is as far as I can tell the owner from 2013. I haven't found the three day old release yet in the new+rising charts but from how it usually goes we will see it likely 1-4 days from now in the top 50 of the US new+rising.
    Last edited by Mike9k; 05-23-2015 at 03:24 PM.
    05-23-2015 09:39 AM
  5. MonkeyDance's Avatar
    Hi, I'm the developer of Drawtopia and I found out about this today thanks to a fan on Facebook, we've filed a copyright complaint against Physical Pan and are awaiting response.

    Its especially frustrating as Physical Pan now has over 2000 reviews in the US so it feels like they are literally stealing players from us right now. To me it looks like the XAPs have been decompiled and recompiled with a new name, just removing any developer info and credits, the games are so identical I cant see any other way they would have done it.

    I mean they even had the cheek to keep our company logo on the splash screen and just change the name above it!

    I actually contacted WP Central with a news tip about this today too, some of my other developer friends have had their games cloned very recently as well so it seems like its becoming a serious problem.
    Jazmac, Joe920, 920Walker and 7 others like this.
    05-24-2015 07:48 AM
  6. Lanceloni's Avatar
    The only way to handle this at the current time is to use the "report this app" feature of the store. Ultimately, it's up to the original content owner to submit a pull request.

    For all the people talking about the app being a rip-off, this is FAR WORSE. It's not a case of just taking someone else's idea and publishing it. they are instead downloading the original app, decompiling the code and RESUBMITTING it as their own. They only threw on a different icon and used a different name.
    05-24-2015 11:15 AM
  7. Lanceloni's Avatar
    There are ways to prevent a pirate from using your app. Do a check at app launch and if the AppID or FamilyPackageName doesn't match yours, throw up a dialog stating it is a counterfeit and include a link to the original app.

    Counterfieters cannot mimic your AppID or FamilyPackageName.
    05-24-2015 11:20 AM
  8. MonkeyDance's Avatar
    Lanceloni yup, I totally agree and I would advise anyone who spots a stolen game to report it if they know for sure its stolen or have played the original game.

    Its not just a case of clones where there are some minor differences, I mean, I wouldn't have minded if they'd used different assets, music and made a few changes here and there but these are literally stolen XAPs and the thief is just republishing someone else's work and taking credit and revenue for it, I'm pretty furious about the audacity of it to be honest.
    Last edited by MonkeyDance; 05-24-2015 at 03:25 PM.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    05-24-2015 11:25 AM
  9. MonkeyDance's Avatar
    There are ways to prevent a pirate from using your app. Do a check at app launch and if the AppID or FamilyPackageName doesn't match yours, throw up a dialog stating it is a counterfeit and include a link to the original app.

    Counterfieters cannot mimic your AppID or FamilyPackageName.
    The problem here is that if they are smart enough to decompile the app they'd more than likely see there is a copyright flag when they test it and just remove the checks before submitting it.

    I have analytics built into my apps and I'm pretty sure they've removed all of that because there aren't any strange spikes or stats in my reports.

    This is out right theft, its not just cloning where there are some changes, new music and assets etc. They've literally stolen the XAP and republished it with a new name.... going by how many games its happening to its a pretty serious problem.

    I guess the only real solution if MS don't step in is for developers to protect their code with cryptography so the hackers don't have anything usable after decompiling... its total overkill for most small developers though.
    Last edited by MonkeyDance; 05-24-2015 at 12:13 PM.
    05-24-2015 11:30 AM
  10. 920Walker's Avatar
    I've noticed this problem for at least a month and it has kept me from the store, which is a detriment to developers and Microsoft. A fix needs to be implemented, and fast.
    05-24-2015 12:44 PM
  11. Mike9k's Avatar
    - what could be done to protect against this? (app encryption as the poster above suggests?)
    They are supposed to be already encrypted. I can't post links but enter this in a search engine: windows-phone-dev-center-automatically-encrypts-all-apps

    The only way to handle this at the current time is to use the "report this app" feature of the store. Ultimately, it's up to the original content owner to submit a pull request.
    That doesn't help much anymore with the ranking manipulation and their release speed.

    Here is the first page (first 48) of the top free chart from US as of today:

    24.05.2015.jpg

    Here are 19 games from that list with other duplicates of the same game from different publishers and also what I believe to be the original:

    rank 6: Space Trace 3D
    source: Real Racing With Beats

    rank 11: Locked Room, Escape 100 Doors, Doors Escape 2 Edition
    source: 100 Doors 2

    rank 14: Invincible Master, Kungfu Fighting, Stickman KungFu Fighting
    source: iKungfu Master

    rank 17: Soldier Stickman, Gravity Stickman Soldier
    source: Gravity Soldier

    rank 18: Stickman Wars, Stickman Revenge League
    source: Stickman Revenge

    rank 19: Candy Summer Camp, Yoyo Candy
    source: Christmas Cookies

    rank 21: Golden Miner
    source: Memrace

    rank 23: Candy Deluxe Mania, Diamonds Deluxe Legend
    source: Diamond Rush

    rank 26: Wild Ride Stunt
    source: Stunt Car Racing

    rank 30: Climbing Hill Racing, Jam Dangerous Climbing Hill, Hill Climbing 2D
    source: ???

    rank 31: Bigfoot Go Home
    source: Monster Car : Stunt Challenge

    rank 40: Stickman Driving, Stickman Rush Hero
    source: ???

    rank 41: Pets Garden Fruit
    Source: Fruit Splash Deluxe

    rank 42: That Guy, Kungfu Master Stickman
    source: Stickman Master Kungfu

    rank 43: Pixel Mario
    source: Pixel Hunter

    rank 45: MOTO Extreme, Stunt Bike Extreme, Extreme Bike Stunts
    source: ???

    rank 46: Brain Teaser, Very Hard To Escape
    source: Hard to Escape

    rank 47: Happy Farm Fruit Link, Fruit Bubble Splash
    source: ???

    rank 48: Ninja Gravity Turtle Runner, Ninja Gravity Turtle Run
    source: ???
    Thats close to 40% in the top 48 free charts and 60% in new+rising. Keep in mind they got only around 2 months ago so aggressive concerning new+rising and the percent value of the top free chart will likely increase with time if Microsoft doesn't react.
    Last edited by Mike9k; 05-24-2015 at 06:12 PM.
    Joe920 likes this.
    05-24-2015 05:40 PM
  12. Mike9k's Avatar
    Note, this may be old news and unrelated, but it's a lot more recent than the blog post stating that all apps would be automatically encrypted. The linked article was from mid 2014, not sure if MS has made any changes since then.
    I have found another security hole concerning the encryption which still works even for the older versions (pre 8.1). I won't post the details about that as it is problematic but it boils down to:

    1. There are ways to get the content without encryption and after that its possible to decompile, change and resubmit it.
    2. There is a way to manipulate the ranking
    3. They have no problem creating multiple accounts often 1 for each game

    Probably around 2 months ago they started to combine this and are now flooding the higher ranks of US new+rising chart with stolen games & icons and the top free chart is also getting slowly crowded by them.
    RumoredNow, Joe920 and Lothario#CB like this.
    05-25-2015 06:07 AM
  13. MonkeyDance's Avatar
    Its recommended on Android that developers use obfuscation to protect their code, thats also a possible solution for Windows Phone devs but as stated XAPs are supposed to be encrypted already and it shouldn't be necessary.

    Fact of the matter is it doesn't matter whether its obfuscated or not if the hackers are determined enough, anything is crackable with enough effort and skill but the amount of fake games showing up does seem to suggest there is something more serious going on here.
    05-25-2015 06:16 AM
  14. neo158's Avatar
    I think the YOUR research story is quite co-incidental. I read some garbage posted by this quack on CNET just this morning and it was repeat with PURE hatred of all things Microsoft. The story made it sound as if Microsoft a co-conspirator in the thefts. The story focused a lot on some movie app that allows you to watch unreleased movies and how many stars it has but the story spends NO TIME AT ALL on the massive amount of piracy that exists and has existed with android apps. I keep saying the closer to the release of Windows 10, the more the trolls will be coming out from under every bridge everywhere.
    I read that same article, no facts, no comparisons with other stores just typical cnet pure opinionated bias.
    05-25-2015 07:44 AM
  15. neo158's Avatar
    Hi, I'm the developer of Drawtopia and I found out about this today thanks to a fan on Facebook, we've filed a copyright complaint against Physical Pan and are awaiting response.

    Its especially frustrating as Physical Pan now has over 2000 reviews in the US so it feels like they are literally stealing players from us right now. To me it looks like the XAPs have been decompiled and recompiled with a new name, just removing any developer info and credits, the games are so identical I cant see any other way they would have done it.

    I mean they even had the cheek to keep our company logo on the splash screen and just change the name above it!

    I actually contacted WP Central with a news tip about this today too, some of my other developer friends have had their games cloned very recently as well so it seems like its becoming a serious problem.
    I assume the developer name for Drawtopia is Super Smith Bros?

    I've also found Physical Pan, a rip off of Drawtopia, on the Store with the developer name DOB. I'm reporting it now.
    920Walker likes this.
    05-25-2015 08:01 AM
  16. Mike9k's Avatar
    I think the YOUR research story is quite co-incidental. I read some garbage posted by this quack on CNET just this morning and it was repeat with PURE hatred of all things Microsoft. The story made it sound as if Microsoft a co-conspirator in the thefts. The story focused a lot on some movie app that allows you to watch unreleased movies and how many stars it has but the story spends NO TIME AT ALL on the massive amount of piracy that exists and has existed with android apps. I keep saying the closer to the release of Windows 10, the more the trolls will be coming out from under every bridge everywhere.
    Is your post directed to me? If yes, I don't care about battles between the platforms. All I wan't is to get the store back to the state it was 3-4 months ago.
    920Walker likes this.
    05-25-2015 08:01 AM
  17. RGabrielB's Avatar
    My main concern is the reasoning behind this is to obtain data from peoples devices. Just looking at the data privileges on some of these apps is frightening. MS need to take more action before it gets out of hand.
    RumoredNow, 920Walker and rhapdog like this.
    05-25-2015 09:26 AM
  18. 1101x10's Avatar
    My main concern is the reasoning behind this is to obtain data from peoples devices. Just looking at the data privileges on some of these apps is frightening. MS need to take more action before it gets out of hand.
    Just looking at the first one on the list (although they all seem similar). They have either just requested all these requirements for no particular reason or maybe they are doing something malicious.


    Original game:

    App requires
    • phone identity
    • music library
    • media playback
    • data services
    • movement and directional sensor
    • HD720P (720x1280)
    • WVGA (480x800)
    • WXGA (768x1280)



    Pirated version:

    App requires
    • data services
    • camera
    • WVGA (480x800)
    • phone identity
    • owner identity
    • music library
    • photos library
    • media playback
    • microphone
    • phone dialer
    • push notification service
    • movement and directional sensor
    • web browser component
    • HD720P (720x1280)
    • WXGA (768x1280)
    05-25-2015 11:21 AM
  19. fordcom's Avatar
    Rip-off apps flooding the store
    05-25-2015 11:26 AM
  20. YanivC's Avatar
    Unfortunately this is what happens with an emerging marketplace. This was no different for iPhone or Android. Hell, Android STILL has that problem!
    As the MP matures and MS figures out how to better display the apps, people will "learn" how to spot garbage and when that happens, the copiers will no longer be interested in spamming (ya right as if that will ever happen!).
    It is a tale as old as code itself :)
    05-25-2015 11:34 AM
  21. Mike9k's Avatar
    Unfortunately this is what happens with an emerging marketplace. This was no different for iPhone or Android. Hell, Android STILL has that problem!
    The current situation is not just something that happens with an emerging marketplace and its not about people just learning to spot the garbage. That was until about 2 months ago the current situation has changed as they use now ranking manipulation. The sorting out of garbage part works if every app has a similar chance but as soon as someone starts to manipulate the ranking the users won't be able to sort the good from the bad because their influence on the ranking has less weight.
    Microsoft would probably just have to block what they use to manipulate the ranking and the top ranks of the charts would be again more or less clean. Thats why I wan't to get Microsofts attention concerning this problem somehow but it seems this doesn't work so we are stuck with a worsening situation.
    Joe920 likes this.
    05-25-2015 01:04 PM
  22. YanivC's Avatar
    I gotta challenge you and +Joe920 on this. No matter what you do, people will eventually figure it out, just ask Google.
    How many times do they change their search algorithm? Its a fact of life, people hack and companies react :)
    05-25-2015 03:01 PM
  23. Joe920's Avatar
    I gotta challenge you and +Joe920 on this. No matter what you do, people will eventually figure it out, just ask Google.
    How many times do they change their search algorithm? Its a fact of life, people hack and companies react :)
    Exactly, and we are hoping that MS will in fact react. Got to keep those hackers on their toes.
    05-25-2015 03:08 PM
  24. Mike9k's Avatar
    I gotta challenge you and +Joe920 on this. No matter what you do, people will eventually figure it out, just ask Google.
    How many times do they change their search algorithm? Its a fact of life, people hack and companies react :)
    Yes I'm quite certain microsoft will solve it at one point. Either they notice it themself or some sites will write about the problems and they will react. But what would you prefer if they solve it now as long as it is still new and smaller or after it has grown for a couple months?

    Of course users will also more and more notice what is going on which gives a bad image as they are in the top charts. Here are some user comments about such games:

    https://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/s...7-3b802026d7d6
    * This is a troll game...rated by bots
    Demon Defense | Windows Phone Apps+Games Store (United States)
    * It's castle mine. The same game with different title and publisher.
    * Literal copy/paste of Castleminer Deluxe. This should be removed by Microsoft soon hopefully, or maybe these guys will get sued for copyright infringement
    Jelly Cube Jumper | Windows Phone Apps+Games Store (United States)
    * This is a stolen game, the original game is "Jelly Cube" you can find it here on windows phone store. This stolen version might include viruses. Don't download!!!
    https://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/s...8-5d83e772a822
    * Stolen. Even name is totally wrong. What the ****?
    The faster this gets solved the better for windows phone.
    05-25-2015 04:12 PM
  25. MonkeyDance's Avatar
    I assume the developer name for Drawtopia is Super Smith Bros?

    I've also found Physical Pan, a rip off of Drawtopia, on the Store with the developer name DOB. I'm reporting it now.
    Yea, my company is Super Smith Bros LTD, im just called Monkey Dance on the forums, cant remember why I chose that username. Thanks for reporting Physical Pan.

    Yes I'm quite certain microsoft will solve it at one point. Either they notice it themself or some sites will write about the problems and they will react. But what would you prefer if they solve it now as long as it is still new and smaller or after it has grown for a couple months?
    Microsoft will almost certainly know about it by now since they'll be getting flooded with copyright infringement claims and customers reporting fake apps, the more people that make a claim the more obvious it becomes.

    People are always quick to attack Windows Phone because its 3rd in the market and they can claim its 'up and coming' or 'emerging'... the WP market has gained a lot of steam the last few years and there isn't really much to attack anymore.

    I have iOS, Android and WP devices because i develop on all 3 but I chose a Lumia 1020 as my personal phone because I think Windows Phone has the best mobile OS, the app market isn't all that far behind at this point either.
    05-25-2015 04:47 PM
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