Calgary App Developer gets iTunes account hacked

by Rob Lewis

Earlier this month the CBC reported on hacked iTunes accounts up for sale in China. 50,000 hacked iTunes accounts - each linked to confidential credit card information - had surfaced on Chinese auction site TaoBao.

Beijing's Global Times reports that critical account information is being peddled online for as little as $30.

The publication says that thousands of accounts have already been sold in the past few months. It's unknown whether any of these accounts are Canadian.

A winning bid allows the buyer the ability to download hundreds of dollars of media through Apple's iTunes store at the original user's expense.

TaoBao officials stated that in the interest of protecting their users, they were not prepared to take action until an official request was issued.

That wouldn't make any Apple fan happy but imagine it your iTunes account was integral to your business and accounted for the majority of your revenue.

On Tuesday of this week we wrote about Calgary app developer Robots and Pencils and their assault on the Top Grossing iPhone Apps list in the US. Their new app called MineCraft World Explorer jumped to the #4 spot on the Top Grossing list within four days of launch. But then things went bad.

Sometime in the middle of the night on Tuesday something went seriously amiss with their iTunes Connect account and they woke up to a glut of customers emails complaining that they couldn't get their updates.

It turns out "someone" deleted their Paid Applications Contract with Apple and as a result every one of their paid applications was removed from the App store.  After 10 hours of troubleshooting (and losing a number of spots on the Top Grossing iPhone App list) they were able to get everything back on track.

While it's not clear what happened to Robots and Pencils' iTunes account, some type of script kiddie is likely to blame.

Robots and Pencils
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

At Robots and Pencils, we love to make things for the iPhone, Web and Desktop. Making things is where it all begins in on our little company but not where it all ends. We also rent our brains, teach courses and angle invest. It may seem like a lot for a 2-person husband-and-wife team but we’re inspired by 37signals philosophy of doing more with less. Robots and Pencils was founded by Michael... more

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Rob Lewis

Rob Lewis

Rob is the President of Techvibes Media and Editor-in-Chief of  His diverse background includes stints in International Trade Finance, Web Development, and Enterprise Software and he is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Simon Fraser University. When not running Canada's leading technology media property, Rob can be... more

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