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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,531
17,870



125859-iphone_4_apps.jpg


Engadget reports that Apple has issued a statement on strange App Store rankings over the weekend that saw one Vietnamese developer grab nearly all of the top 50 positions in the App Store's Books category. While initial reports wondered if the App Store itself may have been hacked, in actuality it appears that a relatively small number of iTunes Store accounts compromised through other means were used to purchase the applications to drive their increase in ranking.

According to the statement released by Apple, the developer in question has been removed from the App Store for violation of the developer terms. The company also reminds users who have had their iTunes Store accounts or credit card numbers compromised to contact their financial institutions to request chargebacks and to change their passwords. Apple's statement reads:
The developer Thuat Nguyen and his apps were removed from the App Store for violating the developer Program License Agreement, including fraudulent purchase patterns.

Developers do not receive any iTunes confidential customer data when an app is downloaded.

If your credit card or iTunes password is stolen and used on iTunes we recommend that you contact your financial institution and inquire about canceling the card and issuing a chargeback for any unauthorized transactions. We also recommend that you change your iTunes account password immediately. For more information on best practices for password security visit http://www.apple.com/support/itunes.
With over 100 million iTunes Store accounts, it is inevitable that some number of accounts will be compromised through any of a variety of reasons, from random guessing of passwords to social engineering tactics such as phishing. A concerted effort could easily gather information for a very small proportion of accounts, but still offer the ability to affect rankings in low-traffic App Store categories such as Books.

Article Link: Apple Responds Regarding App Store Sales Ranking Fraud
 

coleridge78

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2007
634
0
Apple should offer the backcharge as well... this is irresponsable by Apple to pass the chargeback responsability to the bank or CC company.

With all due respect, you're out of your depth. This is what every company does, for a variety of regulatory and contractual reasons.
 

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
7,847
2,456
Isla Nublar
Apple should offer the backcharge as well... this is irresponsable by Apple to pass the chargeback responsability to the bank or CC company.

I'm pretty sure the bank is the one who has to do this.

When I worked at CCity and Best Buy back in the day there was nothing we could do to issue a charge back, the customer had to call their bank.
 

bdkennedy1

Suspended
Oct 24, 2002
1,275
528
I wouldn't call it great. How did all of those apps get by Apple's approval process? Apple needs to pay more attention to crap like this.

Perfect example: There's an App called Volume Booster for $1.99. It says it does all these wonderful things when actually it does nothing more than raise or lower the volume of the phone.

Consumers need a way to report apps like that.

Great and quick response by Apple.
 

macmacey

macrumors newbie
Sep 26, 2007
15
0
Texas
Smoke and mirrors

I know someone mentioned the following app already, but I still see the following app on the store:

A Mirror : for iPhone and iPod

which also has no contact info, an interesting review/rating profile (mainly 1 or 5 star), abused the pricing system by going to a $449.99 price to jump onto the top-revenue list (http://appshopper.com/lifestyle/a-mirror-for-iphone-and-ipod), and has the same icon as another app:

Mirror Free: for iPhone and iPod

No clue if the two dev accounts are related. It appears that someone is just testing the system to see what they can get away with.
 

bdkennedy1

Suspended
Oct 24, 2002
1,275
528
"Your really pocket mirror" LOL

It's **** like that that needs to be reported.

mzl.jhnfzeug.320x480-75.jpg



I know someone mentioned the following app already, but I still see the following app on the store:

A Mirror : for iPhone and iPod

which also has no contact info, an interesting review/rating profile (mainly 1 or 5 star), abused the pricing system by going to a $449.99 price to jump onto the top-revenue list (http://appshopper.com/lifestyle/a-mirror-for-iphone-and-ipod), and has the same icon as another app:

Mirror Free: for iPhone and iPod

No clue if the two dev accounts are related. It appears that someone is just testing the system to see what they can get away with.
 

JonB3Z

macrumors 6502
Jun 23, 2009
259
0
so what's the purpose of apple's strict rules and limitations, again?

They allow Apple to eject a developer from the App Store for violating the terms of the contract which Apple and the developer entered into.
 

Augure

macrumors regular
Sep 3, 2009
225
0
So in only two weeks

- Iphone 4's released: it's extremely fragile
- Only 50 iPhone get replaced and others can f$ck off
- Some people can't use it, there's a problem with the sim
(- The reversed volume button and yelow tint are non-issues)
- There's the antenna problem related to transmission
- Apple tells us it's the consumers fault, and we have to buy an ugly case
- Then they tell us there's a software problem they'll fix. They lied by telling us there's no problem.
- Then they lied by telling us it's a software problem. It's impossible
- While some people are happy to try Facetime with an Apple number because they won't obviously be able to use it in real life, some people fill a class action.
- Apple tells their employees to deny any problems
- There's a problem with the proximity sensor
- Itunes & App stores platforms get hacked and it would be the fault of the financial institutions...

A while ago I didn't get some of the Apple hate cause I like my 3GS, MBP and every other Mac & iPod I had. But now I really can't understand how there can be so many denying Apple cocksùckers apologists who don't even get the money Apple makes while we consumer are all getting screwed again & again...
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
17,209
2,284
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
With all due respect, you're out of your depth. This is what every company does, for a variety of regulatory and contractual reasons.

True, but Apple can do a reversal on your purchases (trust me, just download a movie and if it downloads wrong and you get pixelation or some propblem, they refund you). If their system screwed up and their security was breached, it's their problem and they should fix it and make it right by customers.

Apple is another company that has to take responsability. Saying otherwise is being a blind fanboy.
 

coleridge78

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2007
634
0
"Yup, fraud happened on our systems so call your credit card companies to get that sorted out. Not an issue. Run along now."

Technically, the fraud passed THROUGH Apple systems on the way to occurring on credit card processor's systems. That's where the transaction truly happens, and it is SOP for the card company to be the one who issues refunds and investigates the incident. The card company is the one who wants to go through your recent transactions and discover any other recent suspicious activity, or interesting patterns. They also have resources that the vast majority of merchants do not to investigate a given incident.

Again, anyone suggesting that Apple is falling short here, or should be issuing refunds themselves, is (with all due respect) not familiar with the subject. It would be no different if the merchant were Newegg, Target, or Bill's Imports down on Lake Street.
 

coleridge78

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2007
634
0
True, but Apple can do a reversal on your purchases (trust me, just download a movie and if it downloads wrong and you get pixelation or some propblem, they refund you). If their system screwed up and their security was breached, it's their problem and they should fix it and make it right by customers.

Apple is another company that has to take responsability. Saying otherwise is being a blind fanboy.

Your example is a failure of Apple's product that they sold you; of course they handle the refund.

That has nothing to do with credit card fraud which is always handled by the card company (including issuing any refunds), not the merchant.
 

Full of Win

macrumors 68030
Nov 22, 2007
2,615
1
Ask Apple
This is like robbing a donut shop full of fatty cops. Are they so stupid to not think that Apple would pull the ban hammer on them before they would get anything for their effort.
 

Auchron

macrumors newbie
Nov 26, 2009
24
0
True, but Apple can do a reversal on your purchases (trust me, just download a movie and if it downloads wrong and you get pixelation or some propblem, they refund you). If their system screwed up and their security was breached, it's their problem and they should fix it and make it right by customers.

Apple is another company that has to take responsability. Saying otherwise is being a blind fanboy.

So lets get Apple to give us a refund, then run back to the bank or the CC company and get one too. A double refund. Sounds really good to me! Sign me up for this policy :D

How would the CC or bank know about a refund and or a potential breach in your security if you don't tell them. They will not speak to a merchant to protect your security so in the end the ball will always be in your court.

I personally know that dealing with any "hacked" online account or identity theft is painful but if you don't want to protect yourself why should someone do it for you?
 

kevinkt

macrumors 6502
Mar 24, 2010
250
0
Hawaii
so what's the purpose of apple's strict rules and limitations, again?

dont even ask that question. you know exactly what the purpose is. their implementation needs to be reviewed however. go to android if you wanna question security!!!
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,765
2,245
Pennsylvania
So what's to stop a developer from doing something like this, but targeting their competition's apps, and having Apple remove them from the store?
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
17,209
2,284
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
Your example is a failure of Apple's product that they sold you; of course they handle the refund.

That has nothing to do with credit card fraud which is always handled by the card company (including issuing any refunds), not the merchant.

The merchant in this case is well involved. The bank has to be warned obviously, but the merchant has to help as it's his fault.

So lets get Apple to give us a refund, then run back to the bank or the CC company and get one too. A double refund. Sounds really good to me! Sign me up for this policy :D

How would the CC or bank know about a refund and or a potential breach in your security if you don't tell them. They will not speak to a merchant to protect your security so in the end the ball will always be in your court.

I personally know that dealing with any "hacked" online account or identity theft is painful but if you don't want to protect yourself why should someone do it for you?

You have to tell them, but that doesn't mean Apple is off the hook. They know your account was hacked. More than enough info to spark them to help out not just throw the entire thing on you and say (go tell your bank, not my problem).
 

MSUSpartan

macrumors 6502
Jul 13, 2008
400
0
Did the people commit the fraud have access to our cc info? From what I've read I think they only made bad purchases on iTunes? That means Apple's security was at fault. They let these people obtain our user info and was able to make unauthorized purchases on iTunes only.

Apple should just refund everyone's money and call it a day. Why make the consumers contact the bank etc, when all they have is the iTunes account information?
 

CWallace

macrumors G3
Aug 17, 2007
9,547
6,441
Seattle, WA
The merchant in this case is well involved. The bank has to be warned obviously, but the merchant has to help as it's his fault.

And Apple is helping by both informing customers how they can initiate a chargeback and by not disputing said chargeback when the bank files it with them (since they acknowledge up front the purchase was fraudulant).
 
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