Hackers Threaten to Wipe 559M Apple Accounts
A video reportedly shows them accessing one
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2017 9:45 AM CDT
They want at least $75,000.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(Newser) – Hackers identifying themselves as "Turkish Crime Family" are threatening to wipe hundreds of millions of Apple users' devices, including files backed up on the iCloud, if Apple doesn't pay a ransom of at least $75,000, reports Motherboard. The hackers say they have access to as many as 559 million iCloud and Apple accounts—this claim is unverified, though a YouTube video reportedly shows them logging into one account—and will remotely erase all data on April 7 if they don't receive $75,000 in a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or $100,000 in iTunes gift cards. If the ransom is paid, the hackers say they will delete their list of accounts. However, screenshots of email communications provided to Motherboard suggest Apple is not about to give in.

"We do not reward cyber criminals for breaking the law," an email from Apple reads, according to a screenshot, which also shows Apple telling the hackers that their messages will be turned over to authorities. (Motherboard notes that hackers sometimes feed information like this to reporters to ratchet up pressure on companies.) An Apple spokesperson, meanwhile, tells Fortune that Apple has not been breached, adding that "the alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services." Fortune suggests the data may actually come from a previous hack of LinkedIn. Apple's advice to customers: Don't use the same password for iCloud as other services and enable two-step authentication.

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