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.
“There have not been any breaches in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud and Apple ID,” a spokesperson for Apple reassured users in a statement. “The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services.” This previous data leak may be one from 2012, in which more than 100 million accounts were compromised.
Apple noted that it is, “actively monitoring to prevent unauthorized access to user accounts and are working with law enforcement to identify the criminals involved.” The spokesperson also suggested that users protect themselves from possible attacks by employing strong passwords, not recycling passwords across different sites, and turning on two-factor authentication.
In our previous report about the supposed hacking, we noted that the hackers claim they will carry out their threats on April 7 if not paid.
Apple introduced two-factor authentication for iCloud back in 2014.