Thursday, July 8, 2010

Scammers use Apple App Store hack to steal money, boost rankings

An app farm infestation is being battled by Apple App Store users. The App Store is being hacked by Apple App scammers who hack iTunes accounts to make purchases of some bogus apps. The hacks steal money from iTunes accounts and increase the App Store rankings of the bogus apps.

Source of article: Scammers use Apple App Store hack to steal money, boost rankings by Personal Money Store

Greedy scammer blows App Store cover

The App Store scam may have gone undetected longer if not for a thieving app farm developer known as Thuat Nguyen. Nguyen got too greedy and 40 of his apps within the books category showed up within the top 50 App Store rankings. Other app developers smelled something wrong and Apple pulled the Thuat Nguyen apps. Thousands of dollars have been stolen by Nguyen and some of the other App Store scammers, who are nevertheless active.

Compromised were the rankings of the app store

News about the App Store scam broke when thenextweb.com reported that Thuat Nguyen had hacked some iTunes accounts and purchased his own apps using those accounts. When their popular titles were displaced in the App Store rankings by Nguyen apps, two iPhone app developers sounded the alarm. To purchase apps, numerous iTunes accounts were hacked. On their accounts, numerous had spent between $ 100 and $ 1400. All iTunes users should check their accounts for bad purchases of cheap apps ($ 1-$ 3) followed by one at an outrageous price ($ 90 ). It was reported by Thenextweb.com that hackers are also signing users up for a free app called World War that sends their money to scammer accounts.

From app store scam, you need to protect yourself

To verify that you’ve or haven’t become a victim of the App Store scam, it is easy to check the security of your own iTunes account.

PCWorld gives this procedure:

Click on your account name on the right hand side of the iTunes menu bar. After entering your password, click on the View Account button. You’ll be taken to the Apple Account Info page where you’re able to view your purchase history. From there, you can make sure that all your app purchases are ones that you’ve made. If you spot an app you didn’t purchase among your recent purchases, click the Report a Problem button. To safeguard against a compromised password, you can click on Edit Account Info to change it. Longer passwords containing numbers and special characters are harder for hackers to crack.

Bogus app farms nevertheless scamming

The Apple App Store scam hasn’t been eliminated with the purging of the Thuat Nguyen apps. Beranews.com explains that two other developers at least are using comparable practices. Charismaist is somebody you need to stay away from 3 apps from. One Charismaist app is an apparent sonic mosquito repellent that has scammed users out of $ 100 at the most, even though it is marked as free. Storm 8’s App Store scam has in-game point purchases costing as much as $ 150. One iTunes user reported up to $ 1,400 in bogus charges from a Storm 8 game. Nevertheless in the App store is Charismaist and Storm 8.

More of the app store scam details

The Apple App Store scam is used primarily make bogus purchases that elevate all of the apps within the iTunes ranking so that numerous users can be attracted to the apps based on their high sales. Be on the lookout for app icons that are low-res images from the web. The scammers’ support links direct users to non-existent web sites or landing pages. The Next Web said that all the bogus apps are owned by unknown, Asia-based developers. Apparently the scam has been happening over the last four weeks.

Citations:

thenextweb.com

thenextweb.com/apple/2010/07/04/app-store-hacked/comment-page-1/#comment-11929

PC World

pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/200503/apps_disappear_from_app_store_amid_hacking_complaints.html

betanews.com

betanews.com/article/Apple-still-silent-as-more-scams-are-found-on-App-Store/1278363193



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