iTunes Gift Certificates Reverse Engineered

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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  • dariushro
    Apple is too stupid to base its vouchers on algorithms instead of database...incredibly stupid.
    18
  • Humans think
    dariushroApple is too stupid to base its vouchers on algorithms instead of database...incredibly stupid.


    You are so damn right :P Every algorithm can be reverse engineered if you have a big enough sampe :P
    16
  • Tindytim
    FlameoutUS$0.99 is still the same price for a song if i were to buy an actual cd containing an average of 10 songs, so yeah I get y they do this

    I bought "Revolutionary Vol.2" for $12, and it had 18 songs on it. That's less than $0.67 per song, not including the art that went into creating the case, and the fold out pages with lyrics. Not to mention the fact that the quality is much higher and that I can rip it into any format of my choice.

    $0.99 for some relatively low quality file seems like a huge rip to me.
    12
  • Other Comments
  • Anonymous
    These thieves are probably the same ones responsible for viruses and the like making many lives a misery.

    Why don't they use their skills to create something useful?
    -4
  • eddieroolz
    Probably because this is "useful" to them...

    But seriously though, Chinese hackers can reverse engineer anything these days! It's only matter of time until they crack other, more serious things too...
    3
  • Flameout
    US$0.99 is still the same price for a song if i were to buy an actual cd containing an average of 10 songs, so yeah I get y they do this
    -8