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'App farming' update: Apple says only 400 accounts compromised


The good news is, one crooked developer has been booted from the store. The bad news is, some iTunes accounts were pillaged to fund his rise to the top of the Books category.

While Apple's official statement this morning simply reminded us to be careful out there (change passwords, check with your bank, don't get fooled again), some other sites have been continuing to dig into the App Store's funkier corners, turning up additional stories from users that had their accounts compromised (and in the process, dinging game developer Storm8, which was previously sued for collecting user phone numbers).

More disturbingly, among the victimized iTunes account holders are at least a few who claim they did use strong passwords, didn't fall prey to phishing attempts, didn't have malware or keyloggers on their machines -- but one day discovered that hundreds of dollars of apps had been bought on their accounts. Creepy.

The problem of Apple IDs being hijacked is not a new one -- developer Joe Streno pointed out the weak spots in the password change protocols when his account credentials were swiped back in June of 2009. In this particular go-round, late word from Apple (via Clayton Morris) is that fewer than 400 accounts were compromised, out of over 150 million accounts worldwide. Morris also reports that Apple will be tightening up payment security a bit, requiring more frequent entry of credit card secondary security (CVV2) codes.

As always, if you've had an issue with unauthorized app purchases on your account, let us know below.

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