It seems that hacked iTunes accounts are being flogged off at TaoBao.com, the Chinese equivalent of eBay.
The Global Times reports that some 50,000 illegal accounts are on the go, for asking prices between 1 and 200 yuan (around $30).
For your $30, you get $200 worth of “credit” on iTunes which you have to spend within 24 hours, or you’ll turn into a pumpkin (either that, or the person whose account you’ve blagged your way onto will suss something’s up and cancel it).
A customer service bod at TaoBao.com told the Global Times: “Of course these accounts are hacked, otherwise how could they be so cheap?”
The helpful service customer rep assured the Global Times that the accounts were “safe to use” in China because the legitimate owners were based abroad. When pressed on exactly how these accounts were obtained, the representative wouldn’t say.
Apparently thousands of these accounts have been sold over the past few months. According to a BBC report, TaoBao.com won’t do anything about these sales because no direct complaints have been made regarding them.
The BBC quoted a statement from the Chinese firm which said: “We take all reasonable and necessary measures to protect the rights of consumers who use Taobao, of our sellers and of third-parties. Until we receive a valid takedown request, we cannot take action.”
Apple has yet to comment on the affair.