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Apple Targeted by Hackers Who Want Ransom for 300 Million iCloud Account Breaches

The so-called Turkish Crime Family has told Apple to pay $75,000 by April 7 or it will wipe over 300 million iCloud and email accounts it now has access too. Apple says it will not pay ransoms to cyber criminals.


A group of hackers is reportedly holding to ransom over stolen user credentials. The trove includes iCloud information and passwords to Apple email accounts. At the moment, there seems to be a hint of levity about the hack. However, Motherboard reports that the attack does seem to be legitimate.

The perpetrators have identified themselves as the Turkish Crime Family. They are demanding Apple hands over $75,000 in Bitcoin or lesser known cryptocurrency Ethereum. Alternatively, the group is comically asking for $100,000 worth of iTunes gift cards.

While doubts have been cast about legitimacy, the group has posted screenshots of their communications with Apple. The ‘Crime Family' also revealed the email address they used to reach out to the company.

“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,” a member of Turkish Crime Family told Motherboard.

The emails between the group and Apple show that the group has sent the company a YouTube video that shows legitimacy of the claim. In the video, one of the Turkish Crime Family is apparently logging into an elderly woman's Apple account. This account has photos. The group says it can remotely remove all content from the account.

Apple has been clear in the past and insists it does not give ransoms to cyber criminals. The company does run a bug bounty program, however. Judging the emails and claims, this seems a threat of attack and not a warning that vulnerability has been found.

“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,” an Apple security email says.

History of iCloud Leaks

The group has said it will begin wiping iCloud accounts if Apple does not pay by April 7. Turkish Crime Family says it has access to at least 300 million accounts. This kind of breach would be close to the Yahoo! hack that was announced last year. That was the largest breach in history.

Apple's iCloud has been the subject of high profile hacks in the past. Three years ago, the service was breached and nude photos from dozens of celebrities were posted online. Just last week, a similar attack resulted in more nude photos appearing.

Perhaps its best to avoid storing your nude snaps on iCloud, especially if you are a celebrity.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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