Mac users reported trouble with the App Store, after the security certificate that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) uses to prevent piracy, expired late on Wednesday. This made apps downloaded from the App Store to be temporarily unavailable.

These security certificates are issued by Apple to ensure that only apps that have been bought and paid fairly by users can run on Macs. Also, they prevent the installation of potential malware that falsifies an Apple developer credential.

Apple users complain about the unavailability of their downloaded apps from the App Store. Credit: Tecnologia

The security certificate expired five years after it was created. Even though Apple fixed the error, developing a new certificate that is set to expire on April 2035, the issues remained. People unable to connect to Internet or having problems with their Apple ID, were unable to use their recent-downloaded apps.

Moreover, some users were forced to eliminate and reinstall every single app they had bought or downloaded previously, in order to use them. As usual, users and customers used Twitter to make their complaints public.

Paul Haddad, a developer at Mac and iOS software house Tapbots, was the first to notice the outage when he discovered the expired security certificate, and posting it on Twitter. According to The Guardian, Apple refused to make any comments.

The apps developers were also affected by the issue, as customers complained to them before understanding that the problem was related to Apple, not to the app developer. Developers were unable to contribute in any form to solve the issue.

Even though the App Store works successfully as a centralized directory of approved apps, making it easier for customers that find it all in one place, it still remains vulnerable to these type of “glitches”, security failures that have consequences like this outage.

Source: The Guardian