Reports of iTunes account hacking appear online - how to stay safe

App Scare

Reports of iTunes account hacking appear online - how to stay safe

This weekend, several iTunes customers reported that their accounts had been hacked as developers in Asia used hijacked user accounts to buy and review their own apps, and push their App Store ranking up a few notches.

The issue is relatively widespread, and not exclusive to America. Users have reported that their account hackers have purchased between $100 to over $1000 worth of apps, as well an in-app purchases and unrelated downloads like expensive navigation apps.

Most of the infringing apps have been removed from iTunes, and the developers have been banned. Also, most users have also reported that their money has been refunded, either by Apple or their credit card company.

MacRumours writes that this weekend’s reports may be greatly exaggerated, reasoning that the number of downloads required to boost a book app into the higher reaches of iTunes’s Top Paid App section for books is a relatively meagre 50 to 250 daily sales.

In the grand scheme of 100 million active iTunes accounts, this could point to normal every day password phishing and guessing, rather than compromised security on Apple’s end.

If you’re worried, first check your latest purchases in iTunes. Hit ‘Store’ and then ‘View Account’. From here, you can click ‘Purchase History’ to see your iTunes invoices. If you’ve been a victim of hacking, change your password and contact Apple at 0800 048 0408.

If not, but you want to err on the side of caution, change your password and possibly even remove your payment details. You can always use pre-paid iTunes cards if you want to continue shopping without worrying about your credit card getting rinsed.

If you’ve had any problems with iTunes this weekend, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments.