In-app purchases flaw exposes developers to costly hacks

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appstore

Photo: PhotoAtelier/Flickr

Sloppy coding in some popular iOS games allows hackers to give themselves and others thousands of dollars’ worth of in-app purchases for free.

The hole was discovered by developers at DigiDNA, creator of a backup tool called iMazing that allows iPhone and iPad users to access their devices’ hidden file systems. The developers found that the app backup/restore feature in iMazing 1.3 exposes weaknesses in the way games like Angry Birds 2 and Tetris Free handle in-app purchases.

To demonstrate how easy it is to hack in-app purchases using this method, the DigiDNA team tweaked Angry Birds 2 to start the game with 999,999,999 gems — the equivalent of $10,000 of in-game credits.

Angry Birds 2 flings its way onto the App Store

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The thirteenth Angry Birds game is here.
The thirteenth Angry Birds game is here.
Photo: Rovio

Rovio has churned out more sequels to its Angry Bird franchise than any developers on the planet. They even have sequels to the sequels (we see you Angry Birds Star Wars II), but six years after the original was released, Angry Birds 2 is finally here.

The thirteenth title in the Angry Birds franchise is packed with new puzzling towers to topples, missile birds, and boss piggies. There’s also a new feature that lets you challenge your friends over Facebook to see who’s the true master at flinging birds.

Check out the first gameplay teaser:

5 Apple Watch apps that are best left unmade

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Netflix Watch
Don't look for Netflix on your Apple Watch any time soon. You'd go blind.
Photo: Netflix (via YouTube)

The Apple Watch has been out for a few months now, and it’s given us plenty of time to decide what we do and don’t want from the wearable. It’s a versatile device, to be sure, but that doesn’t mean that we expect it to do everything for us. In fact, a lot of the apps that we use all the time on our iPhones and iPads would be ill-suited, if not impossible for that plucky little screen.

Here are some Apple Watch apps that wouldn’t break our hearts if nobody ever got around to making them.

Angry Birds 2 flings itself onto your screens July 30

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They're back, bigger and angrier than ever.
They're back, bigger and angrier than ever.
Photo: Rovio Entertainment

The disgruntled avians are headed your way yet again in a new game, cleverly titled Angry Birds 2, according to a fairly vague website and trailer from Finnish developer Rovio.

Details are scant, but here’s hoping we see more of the compelling gameplay of the first title in the series — and way less of the karting and endless running of recent releases.

The New Nintendo 3DS XL deserves a spot in your laptop bag

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It's bigger and shinier than any Nintendo handheld ever made. Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac
It's bigger and shinier than any Nintendo handheld ever made. Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Your iPhone and iPad are decent options for gaming on the go, but they can’t do everything. Sometimes touch controls work, and sometimes they don’t.

If you’re a dedicated gamer who wants something that combines the simplicity of touch controls with the precision of actual buttons, I recommend Nintendo’s newest handheld gaming device.

The latest incarnation of the 3DS handheld system is appropriately named the New Nintendo 3DS XL (North America didn’t get the smaller version, but my massive man hands and I are not complaining). It offers a wider viewing angle for its glasses-free stereoscopic 3D graphics, a faster processor and even more buttons than the old one. And if you can swing the $200 price, you’ll be buying a lot of fun. But as commenters love to point out to me, this is Cult of Mac and not Cult of Whatever I’m Writing About, so we’ll skip to the big question:

Will this replace your iPhone or iPad for gaming?