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Apple faithful snared in phishing scam targeting Mac.com users

More MobileMe carnage

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Hundreds of Mac users have been snared in a phishing scam that coincided with the glitches in the roll-out Apple's MobileMe service.

Names of Apple customers traded in underground forums

Data obtained by CardCops, a credit card protection service owned by the Affinion Group, shows sensitive information belonging to several hundred people with Mac.com email addresses being traded in underground forums frequented by identity thieves. The details include social security numbers, birth dates, mothers' maiden names, credit card numbers and other sensitive information.

The graphic to the right, which has been edited to remove personally identifying details, shows some of the data that's been available.

The information was phished using emails that began circulating around the same time Apple began its ill-fated transition from Mac.com to Me.com. The scams bore subjects such as "Billing problem." Following the link as recently as Tuesday while using Apple's Safari browser, we were taken to an authentic-looking page purporting to belong to Apple. It asked users to reinstate their accounts by entering a dizzying array of personal details. (Interestingly, while Internet Explorer warned us the page was a scam, neither Safari nor Firefox flagged it.)

Among those who took the bait was someone in Desiree Holtadams's home. She said the confusion caused by the MobileMe transition caused her to lower her guard.

"I was wondering if they might have switched me over to MobileMe," she told The Reg. "A few weeks ago, there was no access to the Apple account at all for us."

An Apple representative didn't respond to an email requesting comment for this story.

Screenshot of spoofed Apple page

Several of the Mac.com victims we spoke to reported getting phishing emails purporting to come from iTunes. Evidently, Apple users are a popular target. ®

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