According to a report from AFP, hacked iTunes accounts are available for sale on the Chinese online mega-mall Taobao. Once purchased, the accounts offer “free” access to movies, music, TV shows and apps – about anything you can buy on iTunes – for 24 hours. Several shops on Taobao are entirely focused on selling hacked iTunes accounts, with prices starting as low as low as 30 Chinese yuan – less than $5. The accounts come complete with detailed owner information, such as credit card information.
Experts said hackers either hack foreign users’ iTunes accounts, which keep credit card numbers on file, or steal details of overseas credit cards to register several iTunes accounts that are then put on sale.Hacked iTunes accounts are nothing new, as over the last couple of years, several legitimate iTunes customers noticed suspicious purchases made with their accounts, ranging from a couple of cents to a few hundred dollars. During the summer 2010, Apple took action, by banning and suing iTunes publishers and hackers allegedly involved with large cyber-gangs. The task is daunting though, as most of these cyber-gangs are located in foreign countries lacking proper intellectual property and copyrights laws. To date, more than 50,000 hacked iTunes accounts have transited by Taobao. The Chinese mega-store claims it is taking all reasonable and necessary steps to protect consumers, but Taobao features thousands of independently run stores, and has very little control on what they actually sell. According to the website, no claims against the fraudulent stores have been made yet.
At this time, we have not received any information from Apple or any other principal related to the iTunes accounts indicating that these products either violate our listing rules or infringe on the IP of others.