Hacked person accounts for Apple’s iTunes Store are available on China’s biggest retail website Taobao, providing unlawful access to credit card information for music and TV downloads, state media said Thursday.
Taobao confirmed many stores were selling iTunes accounts for around 30 yuan (4.5 dollars), promising downloads of songs, games, films and other products worth 30 dollars through Apple’s online entertainment shop.
Around 50,000 unlawful iTunes accounts were being peddled on Taobao at costs which range from one to 200 yuan.
Hundreds of accounts have been sold over the past a few months, it said.Taobao saying it bore no legal liability for the items sold, nor could it vouch for the authenticity of the items.
Taobao said in a report on Thursday that the company took “all sensible and required steps to safeguard the rights of consumers” and could not act until it received a official request to remove the ads.
“At this time, we have not received any information from Apple or any other principal connected to the iTunes accounts indicating that these products either violate our listing rules or infringe on the IP of others,” the company said.
Experts said hackers either hack overseas users’ iTunes accounts, which keep credit card numbers on file, or steal information of foreign credit cards to register many iTunes accounts that are then put on sale, the report said.
“Of course these accounts are hacked, otherwise how could they be so cheap?” a client service agent for one of the online stores was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
The report said those who bought hacked accounts were motivated to use them for 24 hours only — presumably as their genuine owners would catch on to the fraud and cancel their credit cards.
In July, Apple strengthened security measures on iTunes, asking users to make more frequent entries of the CCV code — a three- or four-digit number on the back of a credit card — when making purchases from a new computer.
At that time, Apple company suggested customers whose “credit card or iTunes password is stolen and used on iTunes” to get in touch with their financial institution and change their iTunes security password.