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certificates

Marketplace fix has been applied but it may take a day or two deploy

As expected, Microsoft has begun deploying the digital certificate fix for the Marketplace that has resulted in some Windows Phone users unable to either install or update a select few apps (notably WhatsApp, NY Times and Translator). In a recent change to the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Todd Brix notes:

“We fixed the digital certificate problem and last evening resumed publishing new apps. It will take a day or two for the repair to fully deploy and newly-published apps to begin appearing in Marketplace again.  If your app was in the process of being published, you don’t need to take any action.  We have applied the fix and the app will continue through the certification and publishing workflow as normal.”

Of course as mentioned above that does not mean you can now instantly re-install or update those apps with issues as it can take time for the changes to rollout across their servers. Still, users should be begin to see updates by the end of the weekend.

Let us know in comments if you have had any success. Thanks, ThisIsMetro, for the heads up

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Explained: A familiar error message for some Windows Phone users

Ever since WhatsApp was pulled and then re-released this past weekend, we have had a small deluge in complaints from users that they cannot install the update. Instead, they are greeted with the above error message, resulting in user frustration. What’s more, uninstalling the app, resetting the phone and dancing around in a circle did not fix the problem either.

We’ve been trying to figure out exactly why some users have the problem while others, including ourselves, do not. Just as interestingly, we wanted to know which apps were exhibiting the error.

Microsoft has now detailed the problem on the Windows Phone Blog and there’s good news and some bad news. The good news is they acknowledge that there is an issue and they even know what is causing it. As it turns out, there are some problems with certificates for new apps published in the Marketplace within the last week. 

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A recent paper presented at Black hat 2012 by Peter Hannay has demonstrated a vulnerability in how iOS and Android deal with certificates whilst operating with an Exchange Server. The good news in this report is that Peter was unable to trick Windows Phone 7.5 devices using the same methods.

Using a man in the middle attack combined with a generic fake certificate, they were able to gain some traction in sending a command to iOS and Android devices to commence a device wipe. When devices are connected via Active Sync they commit to accepting certain responsibilities, one of the most important and sensitive of which is the wipe command. They tested off two sets of Exchange 2010 servers. One running with a self-signed certificate, a very common configuration for small business and another using a certificate from a trusted certificate signing authority.

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