Chinese consumer watchdog thinks Apple should pay up for phishing hack

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Users in China recently fell victim to phishing scam looking for their Apple IDs.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

After Apple acknowledged that a small number of its users in China had their iCloud accounts accounts hacked through a phishing scam, a Chinese consumer watchdog thinks the company should pay up.

The China Consumer Association said in a statement that Apple should pay compensation to those affected. Some of those people caught up in the scam lost money since their Apple IDs were used by thieves to take money from paired mobile payment services.

“Apple should not shift the blame, play down its own safety issues and divert consumers’ attention,” the China Consumer Association said.

The case trended in the top 10 most-read topics on Weibo on Friday.

Problems for Apple in China

Stories concerning the thefts appeared online last week. 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 to try and minimize the damage.

“We regret the inconvenience caused to our customers by these phishing scams,” Apple said in a statement. “We are proactively identifying suspicious activities and reaching out to affected customers. We strongly advise all users to enable two-factor authentication, which prevents unauthorized access to their accounts.”

While Apple can make the argument that it is not personally at fault (since users gave up their own Apple IDs, albeit unwittingly), this comes at a bad time for Apple.

The company, which does a lot of its business in China, is already dealing with the fallout of a burgeoning trade war between the U.S. and China. It has also suffered negative publicity in the country due to stories like a recent one concerning customers in China supposedly being bombarded with iMessage spam.

Source: Reuters