Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hacking iTunes accounts: Smart guy or douchebag? (or just a crime)

So some people in Vietnam seem to go the wrong way: In a country already renown for its copyright violations, stealing intellectual property, faking products now the focus turns on worldwide technology. But do not expect news of any great software made in Vietnam. Instead, the news are: VN (as Google complained) was compromising Google with trojan horse attacks. Vietnamese bloggers publish a Video of a leaked iPhone 4 (what means it was stolen apparently at the factory in China).

And now a Vietnamese developer hacks iTunes accounts and try to push his apps in the Top 10 lists buying the apps through the hacked accounts.
I would call this a serious cybercrime. Hackers usually find leaks and holes and REPORT this, either publicly or to the company that is affected by the incident. But they DO NOT make money out of it.
But the recent case isn't even hacking. What Thuat Nguyen did, was apparently just fraud. Or better, a kind of break in. He got access to iTunes accounts, most likely through phishing, were people were directed to a false landing page, were they entered their account details believing its a official apple page.
What a real hacker would do if he knew a security hole: He would try to push his FREE apps in the store to bring awareness to people and apple.

What Thuat Nguyen did, was a simple crime, made of desparate greediness. We are talking about 1 Million Dollar. And some people already think about that there might be a network of cyber bandits established, so it would not be a single case.Apple Insider shows how it works in China although it describes the way of distribution, not so much of the how-to-get-the account-data, is pretty scary.

What leaves me quite concerned is that Thuat Nguyen is becoming a kind of hero for some people. He fought against Apple, like the boys did with the iPhone. But he is neither cool nor smart. He is just a dumb guy too stupid to rob a bank (just because first people can reclaim the money from credit card companies and also Apple already started an investigation, so it's a matter of time when they will get him). we will see, if he lives in Vietnam, if the VN authorities handle this case as an international crime.

So my point is: Instead of praising thief's and bandits, it would be way better to actually start making good products. Otherwise VN will become a rogue country for IT. And with this reputation, it might be difficult to get more jobs in the important outsourcing industry.

If I would outsourcing my developing work or data processing just to find out that my suppliers staff praises guys like Thuat Nguyen in certain forums, I would immediately cancel the contract.


asdf said...

thanks to guys like him, now apple can patch their stupid security holes. If anything, apple should hire this guy as an employee. 1 million dollars? Not sure where you got that number from.

Your blog posts are bogus. You like to take single case examples and apply it to a country of 85+ million people and say that the entire country is like that. You really need to learn what hasty generalizations are.

Qua said...

Very sad to say, but Vietnamese developers still don't get it.

Developers don't steal from other developers.

And people wonder why online shopping sites from all over the world don't accept transaction from Vietnam.....

There are various platform to develop on using all free tools (fgs stop using Macromedia Dreamweaver to build php websites).

Even when developing on Microsoft based products, there are still various ways to get legit software (Microsoft Action Pack, Partner Program, Technet Subscriptions) and all those are dirt cheap.

Thomas Wanhoff said...

@asdf I think you dont get it. People like you are exactly the ones I am writing about. What I mean that a few people like the so called Hacker and you are miscrediting a hole country. It's not about the bandits, it's about the applauding bystanders like you.

Thomas Wanhoff said...

@asdf: talking about learning: When the Prime Minister does something, then its a single person, but effects the country. When a single company like Lehman Brothers fails, it effects even the world finance system. It's called cause and impact, not generalisation.

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