Back in March of this year, we reported on Chinese hackers who'd broken the iTunes Gift Certificate algorithm, and were grinding out fake gift certificate codes at a furious clip.
So furious, in fact, that the "value" of these fake gift certs dropped faster than Sirius/XM's stock prices — to the point where a phony US$200.00 code can be had for two bucks.
Now the counterfeiters are trying a new tack: recruiting legit iPhone app developers to drive up sales of their software with the bogus codes in exchange for a kickback of the ill-gotten profits.
It's a double-edged sword. Developers are always looking for ways to drive sales of their programs, especially since a higher ranking in the App Store can, in and of itself, generate even more sales. And it's always possible that, should an app get successful by means both fair AND foul, it'd be harder for Apple to trace the fraudulent segment of the purchases.
In the end, Apple may have to either toughen up the gift certificate algorithms — or eliminate the certs all together.
[Via Ars Technica]