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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39 comments
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  • 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?
  • 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...
  • 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