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iTunes Gift Certificates Reverse Engineered

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 5 comments

A Chinese website is selling iTunes gift cards that are worth up to $200 for as low as $3.

How is this possible? Chinese hackers managed to reverse engineer the algorithms responsible for creating iTunes voucher codes, creating fully legitimate codes that are redeemable via the iTunes store into a customer's account. The hackers have now made key generators to actually create the codes on the fly. Unfortunately for them, the codes only work in the U.S. iTunes store.

Which is why the codes are now being sold on Taobao, the largest auction site in China.

At this time, Apple hasn't made any public comments on the situation, most likely because its working on a solution to invalid the codes. Unfortunately, the codes are legitimate and are based on Apple's own algorithm for generating codes, so any attempt to alter the codes would potentially hurt all the existing cards in stores.

The cards are now starting to also appear on eBay, but for much more--around $40 for a $200 card.

What do you think of the situation? Do you feel that $0.99 is already a fair asking price for a single song and that the hackers are stepping way out of line?

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  • 0 Hide
    Flakes , 16 March 2009 15:16
    considering the quality you download that song/album at, yes i do thin $0.99 pence is too much... give me proper CD quality MP3's and ill pay $0.99p

    P.S again with the US pricing on the UK site, just remind me that you have a system that targets adverts to the UK or US depending on your location so why not your articles?
  • 0 Hide
    mi1ez , 16 March 2009 16:46
    I always buy my music elsewhere. 7digital is cheaper and better quality. The situation is taking it too far though in my mind...
  • 0 Hide
    LePhuronn , 16 March 2009 17:13
    People will always hack and pirate because, if nothing else, it's rebellion, a statement or just being a shitbag.

    For example, there was no need to ever pirate Radiohead's album because you could download it legitimately for free direct from their site. But lo and behold, the thing ended up on every torrent site on the intarwebz and bootleg CDs doing the rounds.

    Why? Because you can. And as long as you can, you will.
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  • 0 Hide
    waxdart , 16 March 2009 19:32
    @LePhuronn Radiohead's stuff. Also it would be easier to click on a torrent link - rather than find their website and get it.

    The bootleging of, and making a proffit from their CDs is another matter. Torrents do not fund crime like DVDs and CDs being sold on a street corner. P2P should be thanked from taking the blackmarket revenue away from the crims.

    .99 is too much. The over heads must be tiny. - No dics to make, no brick stores to run. If they moan about bandwidth - hey we got a great P2P system you could try.

  • 0 Hide
    LePhuronn , 16 March 2009 19:47

    I'd have to disagree - it's far quicker to type into the browser than go through the various steps to find a torrent. Even though Radiohead would have lost no money from torrent downloads, the fact they were giving the album away offers no justification for those who blindly or stubbornly pirate.

    I fully concur with everything else however, but at what point are we going to accept pricing for digital content? If I were to buy a full album I'd go for the physical media every time anyway, but if you just want a couple of tracks then surely a buck isn't an issue? We happily pay more than that for coffee these days.