Hackers Demand Ransom From Apple; Threaten to Erase Data From 300 Million iCloud Accounts
This is horrible news for iPhone owners! A group of hackers claims to have access to credentials of 300 million iCloud accounts and is threatening to remotely wipe them clean if Apple doesn’t pay up.
Known as the Turkish Crime Family, the hackers have threatened to make use of the data to access customers’ accounts and wipe their Apple devices in case the company fails to pay the ransom until April 7, reports Motherboard.
The hackers have demanded $75,000 in Bitcoin or Ethereum cryptocurrency or $100,000 worth of iTunes gift cards in exchange for deleting the alleged cache of data. Once their demands are met, they have assured to delete the cache.
“I just want my money and thought this would be an interesting report that a lot of Apple customers would be interested in reading and hearing,” one of the hackers told Motherboard.
The group has posted screenshots of their communications with Apple that has been going on for at least a week to remove any doubts casting about the legitimacy of the demand. The ‘Crime Family’ also disclosed the email address they used to reach out to the company.
In one email, a security team member asks for a sample of the hacker’s list. In another, the hackers claim they have 300 million emails, while yet another claims the list contains 559 accounts.
The hackers have also uploaded a small demonstration video on YouTube, where one of the hackers was shown accessing an iCloud account belonging to an elderly woman and had an opportunity to wipe her device remotely.
Apple has been clear in the past and insists it does not give ransoms to cyber criminals.
“We firstly kindly request you to remove the video that you have uploaded on your YouTube channel as it’s seeking unwanted attention, second of all we would like you to know that we do not reward cyber criminals for breaking the law,” an Apple security email says.
The Cupertino giant has also demanded that the hackers provide a sample of the data set in their possession. In addition, the company has threatened to share the communication with law enforcement authorities.
Whether the threat is real or fake, only time will tell. In the meantime, it is advisable for Apple product users to change the login id’s and passwords of their iCloud accounts to be on a safer side.