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Crime Iphone Software Apple

Users Report Foul Play In App Store Rankings, Purchases 144

An anonymous reader writes "Two iPhone App developers have spotted what appears to be a hacking of the App store rankings by a rogue developer. The rankings in the books category of the US iTunes store features 40 out of 50 apps by the same app developer, Thuat Nguyen. What's more concerning is that it seems individuals' iTunes accounts have been hacked to make mass purchases of that one developer's apps." Among the comments attached to the linked story is one which suggests the security problem may lie elsewhere.
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Users Report Foul Play In App Store Rankings, Purchases

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  • Re:Hrm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by am 2k ( 217885 ) on Sunday July 04, 2010 @08:47PM (#32794948) Homepage

    If you hoard all your wealth in cash at home, there's a big physical security issue you have to worry about. It might not happen from a far-away country, but it's even more untraceable.

    With the existence of the key bumping method, I'm actually more worried about that than online security.

  • Re:Hrm (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 04, 2010 @10:20PM (#32795266)

    They may have nice hardware

    If by "nice" you mean it looks nice and feels slick then I agree but my Apple hardware has been much less reliable than other stuff. Seems to be the case with everyone I know that owns Apple hardware. The fans seem to ignore it though even though they wouldn't on non-Apple hardware. Reality distortion field indeed.

  • Re:Hrm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mitsoid ( 837831 ) on Sunday July 04, 2010 @10:58PM (#32795396)
    Unfortunately the Federal Trade Commission, through the Fair Credit Billing Act, and Electronic Fund Transfer Act, Provide you only so much protection.

    Lets say, BEST case scenario, you receive an e-mail from itunes saying you just purchased $45 in items, you immediately call your card company and suspend the account.

    You are still responsible for your entire purchase. The FTC Will not force your card company to refund you (Letter of the law does not require it). If you notify your card company you are responsible for the first $50 in charges -- YOUR CARD COMPANY MAY be kinder, but the LAW does not require it. If you already owe them money or are not in good standing they may not care to be kind to you.

    Now, I can call Apple and dispute the charge too right? Wrong. Apple's website clearly states
    "35. OTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS [...] No Apple employee or agent has the authority to vary any of the Service's Policies or the terms and conditions governing any sale. "

    So your only hopes? (Based on basic consumer protection laws and store policy)
    1) Your card company decides to be nice
    2) Enough BAD PR is made of the issue that Apple is forced to do something at a corporate level (as no one you'll ever reach by phone can help you)

    Important note: I'm not a lawyer, there may be another law that protects you as it's done in cyberwebs, however what state does that law operate out of? do they have rights in China? Russia? Africa? Europe? for a $50 charge?

    Final note: IANAL, there may be cyber laws that also factor in here. However, Apple policy, and current basic consumer protection laws involving credit/debit cards don't protect you from these small purchases like these.. you're still responsible to pay for them legally (as far as I can tell)
  • by SethJohnson ( 112166 ) on Sunday July 04, 2010 @11:30PM (#32795610) Homepage Journal
    It does deserve to be noted as a colossal mistake to have allowed reviews by people who hadn't even downloaded a given app.

    When SuperMonkeyBall was released, there were over 3,000 reviews. The average star rating was a high 4. I paid $9 for it and found out it was a horrible port with horrible controls and actually sucked. Then I read the reviews and they were mostly from iTunes users who were fans of the console version of the game and wanted to mouth off about how great it is. Few of them had actually played it on the iPhone.
  • Re:Hrm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mitsoid ( 837831 ) on Monday July 05, 2010 @12:23AM (#32796000)
    And quick follow up to my post:
    You have 2 business days from the time Apple sends you an e-mail to notify your bank/credit provider.
    After 2 business days from the e-mail, you are liable for $50 if you linked a credit card, and $500 if you linked a debit card.

    You *may* have additional protections depending on your issuer, however expect none, go remove your credit card info from apple's server now, change your password, and wait until you need to do another purchase to put it back on at least.

    Footnote: 2 days from when apple sent you the e-mail is simply because there's no 'grey area' in this case.. If you read your e-mail and find out 5 days after the fact, you now may have to 'prove' that fact to your debit card company to fall in the $50 bracket.
  • by crossmr ( 957846 ) on Monday July 05, 2010 @02:26AM (#32796708) Journal

    Apple doesn't care. Even if it was 100% their problem.
    They don't care.
    There are currently apps on the app store which are fake. They aren't as described. I grabbed one of them when they had a "Free" day. They're described as epic stickman fighting games. But the screenshots bear no resemblance to what the description is and feature no UI. They're filed under games, but feature no gameplay. They are all the same 4 low res stickman videos they pulled off some site.
    There are several copies of this app with different names. They've all been reported multiple times but apple has not removed them, made them change the description or even categorize them appropriately.

  • Could it be? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by masterwit ( 1800118 ) * on Monday July 05, 2010 @02:50AM (#32796860) Journal
    I be some user just entered
    before a comment.
    Control the content you control the users, right?
  • Re:Ratings? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by delinear ( 991444 ) on Monday July 05, 2010 @05:58AM (#32797778)

    Ratings on the Android market place seem to be even worse than those described above for the Apple app store. I frequently see people giving apps one star because it crashed on their phone, even though their phone is often either not on the supported list (usually because it lacks the resources to handle said app), or even if the developer specifically states that it doesn't work on handset X for reasons a, b and c. Alternately I see spammers everywhere giving five stars but not because they've even used the app, just because they want to post a link to their website in the comments. I'll always use proper app review sites to determine which apps are actually worth using - the reviews on the market place are worse than useless.

    In fact, the whole filtering of the market place is one of the few disappointments with my HTC - I don't know if this is because people are expected to go online to search, but there are just too few options. I can either search on top rated (which is split into paid and free, but is rubbish for the reasons I've already stated) or "just in", which I assume is ordered by timestamp, but is a mix of free and paid and seems to be useless anyway because it doesn't order by the original release date of the app, but rather by the last version update - so you end up with the position that apps are being updated several times a week, I don't know if this is a cynical move to stay at the top of the "just in" list or if these apps really are being updated for the better, but either way it has the same result on finding anything.

    And don't even get me started on the millions of useless screensaver/wallpaper/soundboard/etc apps. Why release one app which allows users to select from 1,000 different wallpapers using a web service when you can just package them as 1,000 different apps each with only 1 wallpaper and flood the hell out of the market place? Ugh, indeed.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling