Many iTunes users are reporting that their accounts have been hacked, resulting in the purchase of a large number of books and applications. While this was initially reported Sunday morning as being limited to apps produced by developer Thuat Nguyen -- and resulting in several of his apps surfacing to the top 10 in the "books" category -- it is now being described as a hack that extends to Apple's iTunes store, too, and to other developers. The pirated books that look to be purchased fraudulently in the app store are listed as being produced by "mycompany" with a web site for more information that reads "http://home.com," and the info screen reads, "this is a application to read book."

Stories from iTunes customers are surfacing on MacRumors, The Next Web, and Mashable, reporting that U.S. and British accounts have been hacked over a period of several weeks, mostly with fraudulent purchases of book applications and Vietnamese iTunes books. A similar pattern emerges: one low-priced item is purchased, and when that purchase is successful, a series of more expensive items are purchased, up to as much as $100. One customer says that his account was used to purchase a number of camera applications.

Elsewhere on Twitter, a number of recent reports of hacks appear to indicate that fraudsters may have picked the U.S. holiday weekend, when customer service workers are out celebrating the nation's birth instead of answering the Apple phone lines, to launch a wave of thefts. Twitter users report hacks both to accounts backed by gift cards and credit and debit cards for a huge variety of purchases (this one, for instance, bought a Japanese dictionary and a tutorial on how to dissemble a gun). No statement from Apple regarding the hacks has yet been released, though most of the technology-focused news sites (including sister sites Engadget and TUAW) are covering the event as breaking news.

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