Hacked iTunes accounts continue to sell in China

Apple and Chinese site Taobao have yet to stop the sale of reportedly hacked iTunes accounts

The sale of iTunes accounts that have reportedly been hacked has yet to be stopped by Apple or the Chinese e-commerce site hosting the sellers.

Merchants on the Chinese retail site Taobao.com have been selling iTunes and Apple App Store accounts filled with US dollars for bargain prices. Some services allow the purchase of US$100 worth of products on iTunes for merely 55 yuan ($8.30).

Techworld: How to get free iTunes music

But the Chinese media has reported that hackers obtained thousands of the accounts sold on the site.

The merchants themselves, however, have not said where the accounts have come from. One merchant only said that "maybe" the accounts had been obtained from hackers, but added that the services were legal to buy because the accounts originated from the U.S. Another merchant could not identify where the accounts had come from.

The accounts sold online often state that buyers should make their purchases within 12 hours. This is likely made in order to prevent the real users of the account from noticing the unauthorized transactions and cancelling their credit card information.

How the users stole the account information, however, is still unclear, said Zhao Wei, CEO of Chinese security company Knownsec. Hackers may have originally tried to obtain these accounts by stealing the information on iTunes gift cards. But now they could be developing methods to steal user account information from computers and iPhones, he said.

Apple did not specifically address the problem of hacked iTunes accounts. "We're always working to enhance account security for iTunes users," it said in a statement, adding that users should change their iTunes password immediately upon finding unauthorized purchases.

Taobao has also taken no action. The company said it has received no information from Apple on the accounts, and that no valid takedown request has been received.

Users in the U.S. have complained about scams with iTunes accounts since 2009. In some cases, scammers likely obtained the accounts by sending out fake e-mail messages purporting to be from Apple to trick users into giving up their usernames and passwords.

The stolen iTunes accounts are all the more attractive in China because many consumers there have no way to create legitimate accounts of their own. The Chinese iTunes store only accepts payment by credit card, something many Chinese consumers do not have.

(Robert McMillan contributed to this story.)

Tags AppleInternet-based applications and servicesTaobao.comsecurityAccess control and authenticationscamsinternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?