Audible Security Flaw Lets Anyone Download Unlimited Free Audiobooks

By Kate Knibbs on at

A loophole in Audible's security is making it easy to get unlimited free audiobooks, as long as you have no moral qualms about using a fake name and credit card.

It turns out that Audible, which is owned by Amazon, doesn't verify credit cards and user information before it allows people to start downloading audiobooks, so you can fill your iPhone with audiobooks even if you sign up for an account using an obviously fake credit card.

A teenager in India recently told Business Insider about the flaw. After seeing BI's experiment, Gizmodo used the same technique to confirm that the loophole is still there.

First, we made a fake account:

Audible Security Flaw Lets Anyone Download Unlimited Free Audiobooks

Using a fake name, email address, and credit card number, you can sign up for any membership plan, so we chose the most expensive plan, which gives you 24 free book credits. It's easy to buy expensive shit when you're using completely fake information.

Audible Security Flaw Lets Anyone Download Unlimited Free Audiobooks

Audible noticed right away that the card information was shady (maybe it was the Simpsons reference or the address of "Fake Avenue" that gave it away). But it didn't lock "Rory B. Bellows" out.

Audible Security Flaw Lets Anyone Download Unlimited Free Audiobooks

Even though you'll get a warning, Amazon doesn't check your credit card information until those run out of credits. Even then, once Amazon figures out your card is faulty, you can just renew your membership instead of updating the card information. That refills the credits, basically letting you download Audible's entire catalogue without paying. I accidentally tried to buy stuff using the (fake) credit card instead of the 24 credits at first, and received a notice that Amazon had to verify my information before they'd let my audio book download start... but then I renewed my membership and was able to get the same audiobooks free.

Audible Security Flaw Lets Anyone Download Unlimited Free Audiobooks

I've asked Audible and Amazon whether they plan to fix the issue and will update when they respond. Business Insider claims Amazon has known about this since 2013. It seems like an odd thing not to fix, because it gives people a very easy way to snag free audiobooks. Almost as easy as just torrenting them. [Business Insider]