Apple investigating App Store fraudulent activity


Apple is investigating fraudulent activity following reports of a Russian hacker who found and published a way to make illegal in-app purchases.

The Cupertino, Calif., company told the Los Angeles Times it is looking into the reports.

“The security of the App Store is incredibly important to us and the developer community,” said Natalie Harrison, an Apple spokeswoman. “We take reports of fraudulent activity very seriously, and we are investigating.”

Alexey Borodin discovered a method to steal content from iOS apps by making in-app purchases without actually paying any money. In-app purchases are most commonly found in free games that entice you to spend a little money to enhance your gaming experience.


In a video, posted by Borodin, the Russian hacker is seen applying the method to various apps, including Temple Run. You can watch the video below.

The method was first reported in English by 9 to 5 Mac early Friday, and later in the day, the Next Web, which spoke with Borodin, said that more than 30,000 illegal purchases had been made using it.

This is the third embarrassing episode for Apple and its App Store in July.

Earlier, a malware app that would spam users’ contacts with text messages was discovered by a security firm to have gotten into the App Store. It is believed to be the first time malware made its way into Apple’s mobile ecosystem.

That was followed by a weird episode around the Fourth of July when apps that had recently been given an update were crashing inexplicably. That led to mass amounts of negative feedback in the form of one-star reviews for developers -- which is never a good thing for an app -- but Apple was able to resolve the issue and remove the negative reviews.

It’s unclear if or how Apple can make it up to developers after Friday’s issues.


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