Apple Bars Top App Developer From iTunes


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Apple has barred a rogue developer from iTunes after he allegedly hacked into people's accounts to buy iPhone applications he created.


Nguyen's manga apps raised suspicions after they raced up the
book chart

At one point, Vietnam-based Thuat Nguyen's manga comic apps had been downloaded so many times that 42 of them were in the top 50 paid-for book chart.

This meant the applications, which were translations of popular Japanese manga titles, were beating global bestsellers such as Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series.

Fellow developer Alexandru Brie, creator of an app offering access to classic self-help book titles, noted that Nguyen's apps, created under the name mycompany, had few customer ratings or reviews.

He saw they had been uploaded over a short period in April and also suggested that their use of manga art may be breaching copyright.

"If there’s criminal activity at hand, iPhone app customers are the primary victims, with the developers of legitimate, hard-worked apps a collateral damage," he said.

A spokeswoman for Apple said Nguyen had been banned for violating an Apple license agreement, through practices "including fraudulent purchases".


Apple approves every developer's app before it is offered for download
via iTunes

About 400 iTunes accounts were affected, she said, but added that iTunes' servers, which hold credit card information for iTunes' 150 million users, were not compromised.

Apple sought to reassure customers by stressing that developers did not receive confidential customer data when an app was downloaded.

However, it recommended that people change their iTunes passwords immediately - and said users could expect to be asked for their credit card security code more often in future.

Apple's App Store has over 100,000 downloadable applications, some free and some which come with a price tag.

The company reviews every application submitted to the App Store "in order to protect consumer privacy, safeguard children from inappropriate content, and avoid applications that degrade the core experience of the iPhone".