50,000 stolen iTunes accounts for sale

Legitimate iTunes accounts have been hacked and access sold on to Chinese surfers, according to a local report.

Surfers in China are able to buy access to hacked iTunes accounts and the credit card details of the legitimate owners of the site, it has been reported.

According to China's Global Times, up to 50,000 iTunes accounts have been hacked and then auctioned to surfers using taobao.com, a large Chinese online retailer.

Access to the accounts can be bought for between 1 yuan (just under 10p) to 200 yuan (£19.54) and buyers are offered downloads worth up to seven times the amount paid, provided that they make the transactions within 24 hours, the report said.

Details on the taobao.com site show that thousands of accounts have been accessed this way in the past few months.

Apple did not comment on the matter, but iTunes customers who believe they could be at risk should change their password immediately and report any suspected fraudulent transactions to the company.

This is far from the first problem Apple has had with hacked iTunes accounts - Macworld reported back in August 2010 that many customers were being hit with hundreds of dollars in fraudulent charges.

In fact, reports of similar issues date back to early 2009.

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