LONDON, 1 MARCH 2011 - The Next Web (TNW) is reporting that Apple iTunes accounts are again being targeted by rogue developers.
The story is an update to reports of criminal activity that the site revealed back in July of last year, but it appears Apple has been powerless to stop some perpetrators from continuing to rifle iTunes accounts. The affected accounts are typically being charged around $25, ranging up to $50.
The site reports that users on Apple's forums are complaining of transactions being made on their iTunes accounts that they didn't authorise. According to TNW, certain seemingly fraudulent apps have been identified: "apps from developer accounts Hongbin Suo and GameIsLive, particularly Texas Hold'Em and other Chinese apps which were either paid downloads or made use of Apple's in-app purchasing. The Texas Hold'Em app's in-app purchasing functionality allowed attackers to purchase chips, wiping out account holders' iTunes balances in the process."
Further reports suggest that many of the hacked accounts had used Gift Cards to add iTunes credit to their account. TNW criticises Apple's apparent lack of response to the problem, which first surfaced in this form in mid-February. "Some account holders have received a response and notification of a refund but others report waiting three days without word from Apple - some have reported issues up to 14 days previous and have not had their issues dealt with," reports the site.
The frustration is plain to see in posts on Apple's own forums.One hacked user, currently waiting a response from Apple after three days says: "It is very apparent that Apple Itunes [sic] has a big problem on their hands, and they are keeping quiet about it. When you have been hacked, and peoples money and private info has been stolen, you should **** well be more responsible (and responsive) than Apple is being.Wake up Apple, and offer phone support for the people who have been ripped off using your service. Otherwise, you might just lose your cash cow."
However another user has had a better experience: "I emailed both [the developer] and Apple this morning and have already gotten a response from Apple (about one hour later) stating that the money will be back in my account within 48 hours. Nice response!
TNW has provided the following info if users are worried that they might be at risk: "Check your iTunes previous purchases. If you spot anything you haven't personally purchased contact Apple and your bank to try prevent any iTunes purchases from clearing. Change your iTunes password and remove your iTunes card details. Get in contact with Apple."
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