Apple apologizes after Apple IDs stolen in China

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Alipay
Apple IDs were used to steal money from accounts.
Photo: Alipay

Apple has issued an apology after a number of customers in China had their Apple ID stolen and used by thieves to take money from paired mobile payment services.

In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Apple said that it is, “deeply apologetic about the inconvenience caused to our customers by these phishing scams.” It noted that this incident affected a “small number” of users.

Stories concerning the thefts appeared online last week. Specifically, stolen Apple IDs were used to steal money from customers’ Alipay and Tencent accounts, two popular Chinese mobile payments service. In a post on Weibo, Alipay warned that users who have linked their Apple IDs to mobile payment services should lower their transaction limits. Both Alipay and Tencent also got in touch with Apple to compare notes.

Ultimately, Apple isn’t totally to blame here, since it is likely that the Apple ID phishing scheme meant customers responded to fraudulent messages asking them to reveal their own passwords. This is similar to what happened with the previous leak of celebrity images online, which ultimately resulted in the crooks being sent to prison.

Nonetheless, Apple has taken the opportunity to issue an apology — as well as reminding users that they should secure their accounts using two-factor authentication. None of the accounts accessed as part of this phishing scam were protected in this way.

Source: Wall Street Journal