TheNextWeb have unearthed what seems to be a major problem on the app store: users getting their accounts hacked and hundreds of dollars being spent on crap apps.
They first unearthed the problem as being limited to apps developed by Thuat Nguyen, who managed to get a number of his apps in the “books” section of the app store near the top of the list. What appears to be happening, is that he managed to get into people’s iTunes accounts, and put hundreds of dollars of purchases onto it, as well as highly rating his own apps.
However, in their extended research, it appears that he’s not the only shady developer doing it. Nguyen still seems to be one of the main offenders, and there’s a lack of information about him — no legitimate home page for his company or any contact details.
If you’re worried about this: check your recent purchases history, change your password, remove your card information from iTunes.
From the sounds of things, Apple isn’t being to helpful, and is refusing to refund money, in what appears to be a widespread security leak.
If you’ve encountered this, we want to know. Let us know in the comments below, or over in our forum.
UPDATED: The offending apps have now been removed, though it’s not known if this is due to Apple pulling them, or the company getting wind of the trouble, and deciding to cut and run. MacRumors argues that the reports of the hacking are greatly exaggerated, as much of the movement up the app charts are due to the generally low traffic of the “books” section of the app store. They think that while there’s obviously been some inappropriate behavior going on, it’s not a massive attack on everyone’s accounts. They also state that account hacking is a problem, but one that has been going on for a number of years, and hasn’t seemed to jump significantly recently.