Folks at The Next Web are reporting that an unknown number of iTunes account have been hacked.
Two developers had initially observed that 40 of the Top 50 iPhone apps in the Books Category in the App Store were developed by Vietnamese developer “Thuat Nguyen” and had suspected that the hacked iTunes accounts were being used to buy apps from the App Store.
But it now looks like the issue is more widespread and not limited to just one developer and just his apps.
You can checkout the screenshot below of the Books category in iTunes, where you can see the apps developed by a single developer:
Users are also reporting that their iTunes account have been hacked on Twitter and also on this Macrumors forum thread (though the thread seems to have started way back in 2008 and three users have reported of their account being hacked in the last 24 hours).
Here are some user complaints:
“Yesterday my credit union contacted me saying there was suspicious activity on my debit card. Sure enough over 10 transactions in the $40-$50 area all on iTunes equaling to $558. This is definitely a problem, since then I’ve e-mailed MSNBC hoping they’ll pick up the story and investigate this problem.”
“I also received a receipt via email on my “Purchases” on 7/2/10. I made the mistake of storing my debit card on the itunes store app. I have run into the exact same responses that other users are reporting–only email as a method of contact.”
That response was to tell me how to change passwords, etc. – stock answers and to also tell me of no refunds. I was an internet technician for years so the iTunes advise was second nature for me but with little hope for “fixing” the issue since I believe that the breach was on the iTunes server.”
“I’ve just noticed my iTunes account has been hacked in the past week. Someone has downloaded 8 apps and two songs totalling £61.70. The most expensive being an app called All Match by CharismaIST for £54.99! The other apps seem to be based on photographer like Camera One, Night Shot, Camera Flash Ultra. Surely Apple won’t pay out to these developers. I have changed my password and put in an email complaint to iTunes so we’ll see how it goes.”
“A small $1.00-$3.00 charge, then random navigation apps totalling around $190.00. Cancelled the card and now working with credit union to get the charges removed.
I will never use my debit card with Itunes again.”
As you can see from the screenshot below, some users are also complaining in the App review section of some of the Vietnamese books apps that they had never downloaded the apps and that their account were hacked.
Phillip Schiller, the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing at Apple, has apparently reverted back to the developer who had first reported the issue to Apple that the App Store team is investigating the issue.
It might be a good idea to check your iTunes account to ensure that there is no security breach. Apple has a knowledge base article (link) for users who suspect that their account is compromised, which also includes the best practices for account security, this might be a good wake up call for all of us to go through them.
Macrumors believes that report of iTunes accounts getting hacked is greatly exaggerated. However, we would still advice users to check their iTunes account to ensure its safe.
9to5Mac is reporting that Apple has removed apps developed by Vietnamese developer “Thuat Nguyen” from the App Store.
[via The Next Web]