Hackers threaten to wipe millions of Apple iCloud accounts unless ransom is paid
By Robert Foster
A hacking group known as the “Turkish Crime Family” has made claims of having breached Apple’s iCloud platform, obtaining access to hundreds of millions of user accounts. They have demanded ransom to the tune of $75,000 worth of bitcoin or Ethereum, popular crypto-currency, or $100,000 in iTunes gift cards to prevent them from accessing these accounts and remotely wiping the victim’s devices. They have given Apple until April 7th to satisfy these demands.
The hackers made a YouTube video allegedly showing proof of their access to users’ stolen accounts.
Apple has been in email contact with the hackers, requesting a sample of the “data set.” A member of the Apple security team has also supposedly sent an email informing the hackers that they do not reward cyber criminals for breaking the law, as well as asking them to remove the YouTube channel they had previously put up. Apple employees reported they will be sending all communications with the hackers to the authorities.
The hackers are claiming they have access to over 300 million Apple email accounts. However, the stories between the hackers has been inconsistent, with one hacker claiming access to 559 million accounts. Other than those accounts shown in the YouTube video, no more proof of stolen account access has been given out by the hackers. They are, however, approaching various media outlets potentially to put pressure on Apple to persuade them to pay the ransom.
A spokesperson for Apple reported “There have not been any breaches in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud and Apple ID. The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services.” They went on to say they are continuing to monitor all accounts and working with authorities to apprehend the criminals responsible for this threat.