Who knew the 4th of July was a holiday for hackers? Both Apple and Google faced security breaches over the weekend as iTunes and YouTube were hacked separately.
Let’s start with the Apple hack. Anyone with an iTunes account may want to check their credit or debit card statements, because apparently a Vietnamese developer named Thuat Nguyen accessed user accounts to drive up the sales of his Japanese Manga books.
Initial reports from two competing iPhone app developers, Alex Brie and Patrick Johnson, drew attention to the fact that Nguyen’s titles occupied 42 of the 50 top book apps in the iTunes store. Initially, these titles had little to no user reviews or rankings, but those who caught the mysterious charges on their accounts posted about the security breach in the reviews section. More Apple users started posting about the breach in a Macrumors forum thread.
“Yesterday my credit union contacted me saying there was suspicious activity on my debit card,” one user, srslylia, wrote in the forum. “Sure enough, over 10 transactions in the $40-$50 area all on iTunes equaling to $558. This is definitely a problem.”
More users took to Twitter to advertise their troubles as Apple’s customer service department was closed for the holiday weekend. “I’m ready to shoot someone at iTunes,” one Twitter user wrote, according to tech blog The Next Web. “Someone hacked into my account and spent 100s of $s and they won’t let me talk to a real person.”
Apple has yet to release an official statement, however, according to Engadget, a spokesperson for the company told them that “developers do not receive any iTunes confidential customer data when an app is downloaded.” Additionally, Nguyen and his apps were removed from the App store and iTunes. Nguyen has yet to respond to the allegations.