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Hackers Threaten to Remotely Wipe iPhones for Ransom

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A group of hackers has just found – or, at least, they assume they have – another source of revenue: they want $75,000 in Bitcoin or Ethereum, or $100,000 worth of iTunes gift cards; otherwise, they will remotely wipe a number of iPhones on April  17.

“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,” one of the hackers told Motherboard.

The hackers identified themselves as “Turkish Crime Family” and provided Motherboard screenshots of alleged emails between them and members of Apple’s security team.

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They have also uploaded a video on YouTube allegedly logging into some of the stolen accounts. Apple’s security team kindly asked the hackers to remove the video and said that “we would like you to know that we do not reward cyber criminals for breaking the law”, according to alleged emails shared with Motherboard.

The hackers claim they have access to more than 300 million Apple email accounts, including those using @icloud and @me domains. But they also claimed they have access to 559 million accounts, so this is quite a confusing story.

Interestingly, though, the hackers want publicity and, as Motherboard notes, they appear to have approached various media outlets to attract media attention. Now they have it.

Image credit: iMore

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  • Victorious Secret

    Are cyber hackers nothing more than a bunch of nerdy losers?

  • Nick

    So, how worried should we actually be? If my phone got wiped remotely and I could restore it, no biggie. If my entire iCloud account with my contacts and calendar got wiped I would be incredibly screwed.

  • Nick

    Speaking of which, is there a way to back up an iCloud-stored calendar to my computer, just to be safe in the event of apple-bug or hack or anything?

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  • I’m on the same boat. Go ahead, wipe my phone. Most things are in the iCloud, and I have physical backups on my computer. And if all else fails and let’s says Apple itself including iCloud dies and disappears, everything is also synced to my Google account.

    I’ve never looked to see if you can backup a calendar, but I’m sure you already know, you can export your contacts to a vCard file for safe keeping.

  • Yeah… the term “Hacker” is so widely used now, if a kid knows a cheat code to a video game, he becomes a “Hacker” it’s very saturated to the point the word has lost some meaning to me.

    Computer infested with malware from going on too many porn sites, everyone thinks they got “hacked” lol

  • Axi

    Why not just change your password to be safe? They won’t be able to do anything if they have an old password. Also if you have two step authentication enabled, they won’t be able to access anything without your approval

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