Hackers try to extort Apple with threats of resetting iCloud accounts, wiping devices

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Photo: Hackers, United Artists
Hackers claim they have access to up to 559 million Apple accounts.
Photo: Hackers, United Artists

Hackers who claim to have access to millions of iCloud and Apple email accounts are reportedly trying to extort Apple, threatening to remotely wipe individuals’ devices if their demands aren’t met.

Identifying themselves as the “Turkish Crime Family,” the attackers are demanding $75,000 in cryptocurrencies Bitcoin or Ethereum, or else $100,000 in iTunes gift cards. In exchange, they claim they will delete the data cache.

Apple hires renowned iPhone jailbreaker to help protect privacy

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iPhone 7
If you can't beat 'em, hire 'em.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

One of the world’s top iPhone security experts and jailbreakers has decided to help Apple in its battle to keep iOS secure.

Jonathan Zdziarski, who was active in the iPhone jailbreaking community for years, revealed today that he has accepted an offer to join Apple’s Security Engineering and Architecture team.

Everything you need to know about WikiLeaks’ CIA document dump

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The CIA has a team of more than 5,000 hackers.
The CIA has a team of more than 5,000 hackers.
Photo: Brian Klug/Flickr CC

The entire hacking arsenal of the CIA has been dumped online and the entire internet is freaking out.

WikiLeaks dropped a data bomb Tuesday with its massive document dump, which it claims is one of the biggest in history. Secrets on how the CIA hacked devices made by Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft are now available for all to see. But should you start freaking out just yet?

Cult of Mac talked to a number of iOS security experts to make sense of all the new info. While it’s tempting to panic, there’s a lot more you need to know first.

Cloudbleed bug may have exposed your passwords

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Another nasty internet bug may have exposed your data.
Another nasty internet bug may have exposed your data.
Photo: Cloudflare

Get ready to change all your passwords again.

A huge new memory leak from web services company Cloudflare may have left data from thousands of domains exposed, including some very high-profile sites. Cloudflare says it fixed the problem, which was caused by a bug known as Cloudbleed, but not before users’ sensitive data got cached by search engines.

New York district attorney calls for federal law to unlock seized iPhones

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iPhone 7 back
Law enforcement officials still want Apple to hack the iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance wants the Trump administration to help create federal legislation requiring Apple and Google to remove default encryption from their smartphones.

The recommendation comes from the DA office’s second report on Smartphone Encryption and Public Safety, presented by Vance at the opening of the Manhattan DA’s new cyberlab. New York County is currently sitting on 423 iPhones it can’t break into, even with a warrant, so the DA’s office is pushing for change.

Hackers can use this tiny $5 device to attack your locked Mac

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PoisonTap is tiny but deadly.
PoisonTap is tiny but deadly.
Photo: Samy Kamkar

The next time you leave your Mac unattended, make sure to turn it off.

A well-known hacker has created a cheap tool that can steal data off of locked computers in minutes. The clever new device called PoisonTap is created using a $5 Raspberry Pi Zero and some open source code. Attackers can plug PoisonTap into a machine and as long as the victim has a web browser open, it can steal data and leave remote backdoors.

Ex-NSA staffer reveals way to hack Mac’s camera and mic

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Mac App Store
You might want to put tape over your webcam.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Security researchers discovered a new way to hack the Mac’s built-in webcam this week, and the method is undetectable by users.

Apple built a green LED light into every Mac with firmware-level protection that turns on anytime the sensor is tripped by unauthorized access. The security feature has become increasingly difficult for hackers to beat, but former NSA staffer Patrick Wardle found a way to piggyback on outgoing feeds and record them.

Hackers can make $1.5 million jailbreaking iOS 10

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iPhone 7
You can make big bucks hacking the iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith

Looking for a quick way to become a millionaire? Just try hacking the iPhone.

Software security firm Zerodium revealed today that it has raised the price of its permanent bounty on iOS zero-day exploits, giving hackers a chance to earn up to $1.5 million if their exploit meets all the requirements.

Apple is ready to pay hackers a big bounty for bugs

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iOS 10
Apple needs help squashing bugs.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s head of security and engineering architecture, Ivan Kritic, revealed yesterday that the iPhone maker is finally creating a bug bounty program that will offer rewards of up to $200,000 to security researchers who find vulnerabilities on the company’s various software platforms.

The news came during a keynote at the annual Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas where Kritic also gave attendees a behind-the-scenes look at iOS 10 security as part of Apple’s effort to become more open about its architecture in hopes of improving it.

Cops 3-D print murder victim’s finger to unlock iPhone

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The iPhone 6's Touch ID sensor is greatly improved over the 5s &mdash for me, anyway.
At least they didn't cut his finger off.
Photo: Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Instead of running to Apple to unlock iPhones involved in criminal case, cops may have found a new path to get past Touch ID’s security: 3D printing fingers.

Police officers asked for aid from the lab of professor Anil Jain at the University of Michigan this year to help them recreate a murder victim’s fingerprints by 3D printing each digit so they can attempt to unlock the device, which they think may contain clues that would help solve the case.