Feeds

iTunes hack used to fiddle App Store ratings

103 stars for me! I'm awesome!

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Compromised Apple App Store accounts have been abused by rogue developers to boost their ranking and increase their sales.

Hijacked accounts were reportedly used to buy multiple copies of previously obscure Vietnamese-language eBooks, in an apparent bid to game the iTunes ranking system.

The eBooks concerned have been pulled from Apple's store and the account of seller Thuat Nguyen of mycompany has been suspended, Mac Rumours reports.

During the apparent attack 42 of the top 50 books listed in iTunes came from Nguyen, Endgadget reports.

The manipulation had a negative effect on the rankings of legitimate application and content developers, who were first to raise the alarm over the apparent malfeasance on Saturday after noticing that their apps had fallen straight off the charts.

Early reports are split over the extent of the apparent scam. Mac Rumours reckons that a small number of accounts were breached, probably as the result of a phishing attack. However, TNW Apple reports that the scam involved apps from several developers in different countries. It reckons the Apple App store is full of account pilfering and laundering App Farms.

Whatever the extent of the problem it wouldn't hurt to follow TNW's security advice for App Store users here. The FAQ provides far more detailed security tips than Apple's reported advice that anyone who suspects problems with their account ought to change their password. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.