Tens of thousands of fraudulent iTunes accounts are for sale on a major Chinese website, it has been revealed.
Around 50,000 accounts linked to stolen credit cards are listed on auction site TaoBao, the country’s equivalent of eBay.
Buyers are promised temporary access to unlimited downloads from the service for as little as 1 yuan (10p) a time.
Apple, which recently stepped up iTunes’ security after a series of break-ins, declined to comment.
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Zou Le, of Global Times, who broke the story, reports, in part:
For merely 200 yuan ($30) a pop, an Internet user in China can purchase up to $200 worth of digital products at Apple Inc’s vast music, movie and applications vault.
Far from being a benevolent offer by the fruit-favoring giant, this offer is the result of the theft of iTunes user account details stollen by hackers who then auctioned them online.
The Global Times discovered Wednesday that about 50,000 illegal accounts are being sold at taobao.com, China’s largest online store, at prices ranging from 1 yuan to 200 yuan.
Potential buyers are promised access to music and movies through iTunes amounting to seven times more than the amount paid.
The only restriction is that all downloads should be made within 24 hours of the transaction being completed at Taobao.
The websites show that thousands of such accounts have been sold over the past several months.