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Hackers Steal Thousands of iTunes Accounts, Sell Them in China

iTunes accounts stolenThousands of iTunes accounts have been stolen, and are now for sale in China. According to the BBC, up to 50,000 fraudulent accounts are being sold on taobao.com, a Chinese version of eBay, at prices ranging from 1 yuan ($0.15) to 200 yuan ($30). Many listings for the accounts guarantee that buyers will enjoy unlimited downloads, including "software, games, movies, music and so on." Free downloads, however, are limited to a 24-hour period.

At this point, it's unclear whether the hackers directly gained access to foreign iTunes accounts, or whether they obtained the details of overseas credit cards, and used them to set up new accounts. A reporter from China's Global Times bought an account for $5 on TaoBao, and discovered that it was linked to a credit card with a U.S. billing address. A customer service representative for one online retailer confirmed to the paper that the iTunes accounts must have been stolen: "Of course these accounts are hacked, otherwise how could they be so cheap?"

Apple has not yet commented on the alleged fraud, but TaoBao asserted that it will not take down the listings until it receives a formal request to do so. "We take all reasonable and necessary measures to protect the rights of consumers who use Taobao, of our sellers and of third-parties," the company said in a statement. "Until we receive a valid takedown request, we cannot take action."

Tags: Apple, china, CreditCards, fraud, hacker, iTunes, ItunesAccount, money, security, top, Web