Hacker who tried to extort Apple for $100k is spared prison

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Hacker who tried to extort Apple for $100k is spared prison
Kerem Albayrak sent Apple messages demanding a ransom.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A hacker who tried to extort Apple into paying him $75,000 in Bitcoin or a thousand $100 iTunes gift cards has been spared prison.

22-year-old IT analyst Kerem Albayrak, from London, claimed that he could leak passwords or carry out factory resets for devices attached to 382 million iCloud accounts. He was 19 at the time that he committed his crimes under the name “Turkish Crime Family.”

Albayrak made a variety of different claims. At one point, he told friends he had access to “200 million” customer accounts. At other times he claimed he could carry out factory resets of 382 million accounts.

Prosecutor James Dawes QC called his efforts to blackmail Apple “a cynical attempt to extort money from one of the world’s largest companies.”

One message he sent Apple read: “Hello Apple I’ve decided to use all my servers and macroscripts on these accounts. If I don’t get by payment by 3 December I will be hacking every iCloud account I have extracting all the notes and dumping them online.”

On another occasion, he responded to an Apple message asking him to stop, by writing: “Well I would have tried to be nicer to you guys but your rep was being a complete p****. I’m not gonna release dump for free, I have a better plan, it’s going to wreck your company LOL and when it does you’ll be held responsible.”

Hacker tried to extort Apple

On two occasions, Albayrak illegally infiltrated the Apple accounts of two American citizens. He then activated their Find My iPhone feature, causing their devices to sound an alarm.

After Albayrak’s arrest in March 2017, police discovered a hard drive with more than 4 million lines of customer data. However, this included large numbers of duplicates.

Albayrak admitted blackmail and two charges of unauthorized access to computer material. The judge gave him a two-year suspended sentence. The court also ordered Albayrak to wear an electronic tag and complete 300 hours of community work.

Source: Daily Mail