For the last year, hackers have been able to crash through Apple’s faith-based security and spend other user’s cash, and Jobs’ Mob has been unable to stop them.
The first reports were in November 28, 2010, when a user moaned on an Apple support forum that someone had spent more than $50 of his iTunes Store credit on iPhone apps. His home address was replaced with an address in Towson, Maryland.
The list of complaints has gone to 700 posts with a hacker, or hackers able to spend iTunes gift card credit without permission.
While Apple has been refunding some of its users, it has not given cash back to others, but acknowledged no wrongdoing or iTunes hacking.
According to the Apple religion, Jobs’ Mob is the most secure software maker in the universe and only Windows machines get hacked.
Thanks to Apple not stopping them, the hackers got more sophisticated. Users noticed that purchases appeared to be apps from specific developers. One of those developers was “gao jing,” the name behind apps like Expert Guide for Black Ops, Cheats Guide for Black Ops, Weapons Guide for Black Ops, and Game Guide for New Vegas.
The thinking was that the software bought was all of Chinese origin which suggested that it was a way for rogue developers to score a bit of cash off Apple.
Apple appears to have twigged that there might be something afoot and none of the apps are in the store.
But in April, some customers found that instead their funds were making in-app purchases for a game from Sega called KingdomConquest. Sega is unlikely to want to rack up any sales in any dodgy way.
According to MacWorld the hackers were able to “buy” the free app on victims’ iTunes accounts, and then trigger the in-app purchases.
Sega wanted to investigate, but according to a post on its site it was blocked by Apple who refused to allow access to any customers’ iTunes account information or transaction histories.
In June, the hack started to get worse and Jobs’ Mob emails to customers actually came close to admitting that the money was being taken from customer accounts without permission.
However Apple will only refund money once, and customers that are hit for a second time are being told to go forth and multiply.
To make matters worse, the hacks are getting more frequent. Even users who have their accounts locked down by Apple are seeing mysterious transactions appear. Some have now been hacked three times in a day.
Of course the answer to such behaviour is to close down your iTunes account and go with a company that treats you better. But for the Apple faithful that is like a born again Christian not going to church on Sunday.
Only in this case there is someone sitting outside the church with a kosh waiting to steal their collection money.