Beware phone scammers who warn of iCloud hack

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Never give your iCloud password to anyone.
Never give your iCloud password to anyone.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Got a call from “Apple Support” to say your iCloud account was hacked? Hang up and ignore it.

Phone scammers are calling unsuspecting iPhone and iPad users and trying to trick them into handing over their iCloud account details. Once they have them, they can purchase whatever they want, and it’s you who foots the bill.

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iOS 10.3 is out with Find My AirPods, Apple File System and more

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iPhone 7
Grab iOS 10.3 while it's hot!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The first big iPhone and iPad update of 2017 has finally arrived.

Apple finally released iOS 10.3 to the public today after months of beta testing the new software. iOS 10.3 can be downloaded now as an over-the-air update, or installed via iTunes. iPhone and iPad owners can expect a rash of new features that not only make iPhone and iPad easier to use, but also more secure.

Here’s everything that’s new:

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Alleged hackers raise their Apple ransom to $700,000

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money
Hackers have upped their demands.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The so-called “Turkish Crime Family” hackers who claim they’ve got access to hundreds of millions of Apple customer accounts have raised their ransom demand from $75,000 to a whopping $700,000.

The group, which is apparently based in the U.K., has threatened to remotely wipe users’ devices, or reset iCloud accounts, if it’s not paid by April 7. Apple has denied that the hackers have breached iCloud, although the accounts themselves are real.

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Apple denies that millions of iCloud accounts have been hacked

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The CIA has a team of more than 5,000 hackers.
Hackers have threatened to remotely wipe devices belonging to millions of users.
Photo: Brian Klug/Flickr CC

Apple is denying reports that hackers have gained access to up to 559 million customer accounts, and are extorting the company by promising to remotely wipe devices of their data.

Hackers identifying themselves as the “Turkish Crime Family” this week demanded $75,000 in cryptocurrencies Bitcoin or Ethereum from Apple, or else $100,000 in iTunes gift cards. In exchange, they have said they will delete their alleged data cache.

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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.

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iOS 10.3 and macOS 10.12.4 inch closer to public release

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iPhone 7 in hand
Apple's new iOS update is nearly ready for primetime.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Developers received new beta software updates today for iOS 10.3 and macOS 10.12.4, possibly signaling that a public release is just around the corner.

The new updates come just a few days after Apple dropped the last betas of macOS 10.12.4 and iOS 10.3 on developers. Both updates come with a number of bug fixes and under the hood improvements to go with new features that were added in previous versions.

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Apple seeds macOS 10.12.4 beta 5 to developers

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macOS Sierra logo
A new macOS beta is out.
Photo: Apple

Registered Apple developers received some new beta software from Apple today with the release of macOS 10.12.4 beta 5.

The new beta comes one week after Apple released macOS 10.12.4 beta 5, bringing a number of new bug fixes and performance improvements to the Mac.

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It’s not just you, iCloud is down now for some users

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icloud-music-library-itunes-match
iCloud is down.
Photo: Apple

Are you having a hard time backing up files to iCloud or listening to songs on Apple Music? You’re not alone.

It appears that Apple’s iCloud services are currently impacted by a major Amazon web services outage that has crippled the internet on the East Coast. It’s unclear what is causing the problem but Apple says only 0.04 percent of users are effected by “slower than normal performance.”

Here are all the Apple services that are down:

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Apple buys iCloud domain from Chinese social network

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iCloud site
Breaking news: iCloud's closing. (Not that one!)
Photo: iCloud.net

In an attempt to crack down on confusion and protect its intellectual property rights, Apple has acquired the website iCloud.net, previously the home of a small Chinese social network.

The web address now displays a message revealing that the site as it currently exists will be closing at the end of the month, and that all existing user data will be destroyed.

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