The offending applications from developer WiiSHii Network were quickly removed from the App Store after ArsTechnica reported on Friday that its applications were climbing the charts in the travel category. The applications "[EN]GYOYO Shanghai Travel Helper" and "[EN]GYOYO Beijing Travel Helper" cracked the top 10 before they were removed.
A reader sent a copy of their iTunes receipt to show that they were charged a total of $168.89 without their permission. A number of $3.99 purchases were all from seller "Shanghai WiiSHii."
The incident came just days after another developer took over 40 of the top 50 spots in the App Store's books category. Developer Thuat Nguyen, who listed his publishing company as "mycompany" with a website of "Home.com," was accused of boosting his sales with hacked iTunes accounts, tied to users' credit card numbers.
Apple responded quickly to say that it had removed the offending developer from the App Store, as well as his applications. The company also advised that users check their iTunes and credit card accounts to ensure they were not charged for anything they did not purchase. Apple noted that confidential customer data is not revealed to developers when users purchase an application.
Apple said that only 400 iTunes accounts were affected in the incident, out of a massive 150 million active users. THe company also said they plan to implement a new security feature to minimize fraud in the future, which would require users to enter their credit card's anti-fraud CCV number more often.