Authentication issues have ‘damaged’ some Mac App Store apps

As first spotted by Tweetbot developer Paul Haddad, some Mac owners are being forced to download and reinstall apps on their computer following what appears to be a security glitch in the Mac App Store.

The issue was reported by many Mac owners over the course of the morning, with many of them seeing a “damaged” error when trying to open a variety of different apps downloaded directly from the Mac App Store. According to reports, opening apps like 1Password, Call of Duty 2, Tweetbot, Acorn, Byword, and many others prompted the error to appear instead of opening the app as would normally happen.

In many cases, as the warning prompt suggests, deleting the app from the computer and reinstalling it from the Mac App Store fixed the situation. In others, Mac owners were forced to sign out of the Mac App Store altogether and then log back in, which would apparently fix the issue as well. For others, though, the apps are still not opening even after these steps have been followed.

Apple, for its part, has issued a new security certificate that should alleviate the problem for the majority of users. This certificate isn’t set to expire until early 2035.

The receipt files (commonly stored in /Library/Receipts) are just another form of a package install file. They’re created each time you install an app and are used by OS X to maintain a record of the files the installer has saved on your system.

The Mac App Store’s Software Update mechanism uses receipt files to determine if an app needs updating, whether a release is a new app or an upgrade of an existing one, to check if a given update can be installed on your system and more.

However, many OS X El Capitan users are experiencing the same issues, so Haddad also speculates that the issue could be related to apps contacting the Mac App Store servers simultaneously could be causing a “self inflicted DDOS on Apple’s receipt generation service.”

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