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

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Apple offers up to $1.5 million to anyone who spots a software flaw
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.

In a message to Motherboard, one of the hackers said, “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.”

As supposed evidence, the hackers have sent emails of apparent email exchanged between themselves and Apple’s security team. They also uploaded a YouTube video concerning the hack.

One of the messages sent by Apple’s security team apparently reads in part: “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.”

If they’re not paid, the hackers claim they will reset a number of iCloud accounts and remotely wipe various devices on April 7. In total, they claim to have access to up to 559 million accounts.

Is this a genuine threat? Will Apple cave in and pay? We guess we’ve got a few more weeks until a bit more light can be shed on this sordid enterprise…