As you are more than likely aware, earlier today, the Apple iTunes store; the online portal that delivers content via the iTunes software, the iPhone, the iPod, and the iPad was hacked. While there have yet to be any official reports from Apple at the time of writing, it is alleged that a rouge developer has somehow accessed several iTunes accounts in order to pull off this mind-boggling hack. While this may seem like a devastating incident itself (and there’s no doubt it is), the sad truth is that the fact that someone was able to exploit Apple’s famed infrastructure may hurt the company’s integrity and possibly their business in more ways than one.
This being, the iTunes store is a very complex marketplace for buying and selling electronic content such as movies, electronic books, music, and applications for the iOS. Having thousands of publishers and millions of titles, one cannot comprehend the insane amount of traffic that goes through the iTunes store each and every day. Because of this, it is likely going to be an excruciating task for Apple to weed through all of the recent transactions and distinguish legitimate sales and purchases from those done maliciously as part of this hack. This already difficult process will surely not be aided by the huge influx of reports (both substantiated and unsubstantiated) being made to Apple’s fraud department. With human nature being as it is, there are surely going to be people making false fraud allegations in attempt to receive an unjustified refund on purchases that they made legitimately.
This issue aside, one also has to realize that if someone was able to hack into the iTunes store, it’s not far fetched to believe that the same exploit could potentially be used to pull off hacks on other Apple services, such as the highly popular backup and synchronization service, MobileMe. The issue with this is the fact that if someone were able to get into MobileMe, they would have access to boatloads of sensitive personal and business informations; contacts, backed up files, etc. Even if this is not the case and other Apple services such as MobileMe remain unaffected, the fact of the matter is that Apple has yet to release any form of press release that would reassure people of this. Because of this, combined with the recent iPhone issues, Apple’s public image is definitely going to go downhill at a high rate of speed.
When it comes down to it, there is a lot of concern over the iTunes store issues right now and the other insecurities that may exist within Apple’s infrastructure. But, at the same time, these issues may not be as worrisome as we all believe. At this point in the game, Apple really needs to do some damage control to prevent their PR image from sinking deeper than it already has, and it is beyond me why they have yet to release a press release in regards to this issue that is hot in the public eye; especially seeing as how a simple reassurance would likely go a long way.