Tag Archives: iPhone App Store

Apple Bans Rogue Developer: Confirms iTunes Fraud

Apple Apple has finally stepped in to put an end to the increasing incidents of fraudulent purchases in the iTunes App Store. Last week, we reported that someone called Thuat Nguyen was purchasing his own applications using hacked iTunes accounts. In fact, apps developed by Nguyen managed to claim 42 of the top 50 spots in the App Store rankings for the Books category.

Apple has now banned Thuat Nguyen and issued the following statement to Engadget:

The developer Thuat Nguyen and his apps were removed from the App Store for violating the developer Program License Agreement, including fraudulent purchase patterns.

Developers do not receive any iTunes confidential customer data when an app is downloaded.

If your credit card or iTunes password is stolen and used on iTunes we recommend that you contact your financial institution and inquire about canceling the card and issuing a chargeback for any unauthorized transactions. We also recommend that you change your iTunes account password immediately. For more information on best practices for password security visit http://www.apple.com/support/itunes.

According to Clayton Morris, about four hundred iTunes accounts were compromised. Apple’s statement indicates that the hacking resulted out of callousness on the part of the user and not due some inherent vulnerability in iTunes. Nevertheless, Apple will be beefing up its security measures to make it harder for hacked accounts to be exploited.

iTunes Accounts Hacked – Several Users Report Fraudulent Purchases

AppleA little while ago, YouTube was hacked and exploited on a large scale. Unfortunately, YouTube is not the only major service to fall prey to hackers. Two iPhone application developers have uncovered what appears to be a widespread hacking of the iTunes App Store.

Patrick Thomson, the developer of the QuickReader iPhone application, was the first to notice that something was amiss, when his app was displaced in the rankings by numerous suspicious looking Vietnamese manga apps.

iTunes-Hacked

It appears that someone going by the name Thuat Nguyen managed to hack into people’s accounts and buy his own apps to push them up the app store rankings. The scale of the attack, as well as the methodology used isn’t known. However, the number of people who have been compromised is definitely significant. This particular thread on MacRumors forum paints a worrisome picture. Several users have been charged hundreds of dollars for purchases they never made. To make matters worse, Apple’s customer care isn’t being very helpful either.

If you have associated a credit/debit card with your iTunes account, you should immediately check your recent purchase history and remove your card from your iTunes profile.

Image Courtesy: Alex Brie