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iTunes OZ Hacked?

iTunes OZ Hacked?

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Aussie iTunes users have had their accounts hacked by unauthorised users.

Thats according to Victoria’s consumer watchdog who said its become “aware” of concerns about Apple iTunes and App Store account security after consumer complaints about unauthorised purchases made via credit card.

No word yet if this is confined to Victoria only.

Many App Store customers have one ID account and password – usually linked to a credit or debit card account.

But online hacker forums are now selling iTunes account info for as little as $33 – with forums saying fraudsters can net  thousands in account credit, warned Consumer Affairs Victoria.

That is if consumers don’t stop them in their tracks (literally).

According to the consumer body, Apple said it is working to enhance the security of its online store, following complaints and has advised customers whose payment information had been stolen to change their passwords and contact their financial institutions.

Update: However, an Apple Australia spokesperson told SmartHouse it is unaware of the iTunes issue and has had no contact with the Vic office and is “unsure” of where they got this information from.

The consumer body did not give a direct reply to questions from SmartHouse but it seems they got their info from a New York Times article on similar iTunes fraud in the US.

However, Victoria’s consumer body has warned users to change their password regularly, use ones at least eight characters long (a combination of letters, symbols and numbers).

Apps with a long track record of user reviews are a safer bet, it said in a statement.

Consumers who access counterfeit or ‘cloned’ apps for sale in the App Store risk compromising their systems to “predatory software.” Counterfeit apps look like real apps but don’t have the same kind of security as those developed by established programmers.

These ‘cloned’ apps can expose personal data to malware or predatory, virus-like software which can be used to steal personal information.

This isn’t the first website hacking of late. LinkedIn, eHarmony and Twitter have all suffered data breaches of late, with passwords stolen.

“Consumer Affairs Victoria reminds consumers to always remain vigilant in the online environment and provides advice when concerns are raised in the public domain about potential consumer detriment,” it told SmartHouse today.