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Mystery of Vanishing iTunes Credit Shows No Sign of Fading 195

Posted by timothy
from the sounds-like-the-fraud-department-at-amex dept.
E IS mC(Square) writes "Back on November 28, 2010, somebody started a thread on Apple's support forums about someone spending more than $50 of his iTunes Store credit on iPhone apps. That discussion thread has since swelled to more than 45 pages, with nearly 700 posts. 'Someone — or some group of someones — seems to be able to spend iTunes gift card credit without permission, buying apps that users don't want. And whoever's doing the hacking seems pretty good at it: Hundreds of users have seen their iTunes credit stolen, and the hack shows no signs of slowing, ten months after it was first reported.' Apple has refunded certain accounts, but not in all cases. Apple suggests that the hack stems from weak, easily guessable passwords, and/or phishing attacks where customers are fooled into entering their passwords into hackers' forms."
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Mystery of Vanishing iTunes Credit Shows No Sign of Fading

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  • Re:Great (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iamhassi (659463) on Saturday September 10, 2011 @01:00PM (#37362936) Journal
    A few hundred? That seems significant to me, and you have to remember those are the few hundred that managed to find that forum post, imagine how many people this might have happened to that blamed their kids/husband/wife/etc or didn't even notice or didn't even find the forum?

    If you read the article every user had their info changed to the same address, Towson, MD 21286-7840. Obviously this is the work of the same group of hackers since they're changing info to the same address, and they're smart enough not to use credit cards, only iTunes gift cards, since credit cards would definitely get the police involved.

    Apple should do more than just issue refunds, by ignoring this it only encourages them to become more bold, and they might want to ask app seller Hongbin Suo why his name keeps showing up in the unauthorized purchases [apple.com]
  • Re:Great (Score:5, Interesting)

    by brusk (135896) on Saturday September 10, 2011 @01:16PM (#37363030)

    After all why buy random apps if you can't use them? The will be tied to the owners phone.

    No idea if it applies in this case, but crooked developers could make money this way, by receiving the proceeds of fake sales of their apps.

  • My wife was bit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oDDmON oUT (231200) on Saturday September 10, 2011 @02:15PM (#37363338)

                She had a Paypal account tied to her iTunes account emptied of over $400.

                Luckily her buying habits and those of the hacker/s were wildly divergent (inspirational audio books vs. FPS shooters), so she got her refund...after nearly two months.

                Her password? It was at least eight characters, capitalization, numbers and special characters and is considered "strong" by any password assessment tool you'll find.

                I equate Apple's response to these attacks as the same Ford had to Pinto gas tanks.

                For this to have gone on as long as it has means either the changes needed to really combat it would be bad for business, or the bean counters have decided the percentages warrant the non-response.

  • Happened to me (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vitaflo (20507) on Saturday September 10, 2011 @02:18PM (#37363352) Homepage

    I had this happen to me back in May. The only reason I knew is because Apple sent me a receipt to the purchase of the app in question. When I looked online to see what the app was it was already pulled from the app store, but various caches online showed it was a very badly designed "game" about chinese words with the dev being a chinese name. At that point I knew someone hacked my account and bought the app (yup it was bought with credit I had on the acct).

    I brought it to the attention of Apple and they immediately disabled my account. Then asked for proof that I was who I said I was. After I did so they reenabled my account, changed my password and credited me the money.

    It was more of a PITA than anything, and left me scratching my head as to how they got my login info. Which is probably a worse feeling than losing $5 on an app purchase.

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