Some 50,000 iTunes accounts are being sold using a popular Chinese online store, according to a report.
50,000 active iTunes accounts are reportedly being sold online for as
little as 15 cents.
to China's Global Times
, the accounts are being sold through taobao.com, a popular
Chinese-language online store, for between 1 and 200 yuan-the equivalent
of between 15 cents (USD) and $30 (USD). A reporter for the newspaper tested
the waters by paying $5 to a seller on the site, and in exchange was given an
iTunes username and password that permitted access to the account and
ultimately credit card and billing address information.
buyers are promised access to music and movies through iTunes amounting to
seven times more than the amount paid," according to the report. "The
only restriction is that all downloads should be made within 24 hours of the
transaction being completed at [the site]."
to Global Times, thousands of such accounts have been sold during the past
several months. It is possible user account credentials were phished
or stolen through malware. It is also possible the accounts were
established using stolen credit cards.
you think about it, there are cyber-criminals out there
who make money
from stealing 'virtual goods' from online role-playing games
and sell them for hard cash-so if they can make money from, effectively, 'nothing,'
they can make money from iTunes accounts too," Graham Cluley, senior
technology consultant at Sophos, told eWEEK. "If people are prepared to
pay for something-cut-price access to iTunes-there will be others who will try
and supply it."
response to the report, Apple is advising users to take action if they suspect
their account may be compromised.
always working to enhance account security for iTunes users," an Apple
spokesman said in a statement. "If your credit card or iTunes
password is stolen and used on iTunes, you should contact your financial
institution about any unauthorized purchases, and be sure to change your iTunes
password right away."