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Apple reportedly target of shakedown over iCloud accounts

Hackers demand $75,000 in bitcoin by April 7 in exchange for not resetting account credentials, Motherboard reports.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
2 min read

Hackers are taking aim at iCloud accounts.


A group of hackers is reportedly trying to put the squeeze on Apple over a large trove of credentials to iCloud and other Apple email accounts.

The hackers, who call themselves the "Turkish Crime Family," say they have access to more than 300 million breached accounts, according to a report Wednesday by Motherboard. The hackers have threatened to begin resetting passwords on iCloud accounts and remotely wiping iPhones if Apple doesn't pay them $75,000 in bitcoin by April 7.

But they say they will also settle for $100,000 in iTunes gift cards.

"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 the Turkish Crime Family told the publication.

The hackers uploaded a video to YouTube that shows them purportedly logging into iCloud accounts using the stolen credentials. The hackers shared screenshots of their communication with the Apple security team.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it was the target of an extortion attempt related to the alleged trove of credentials. It did say its systems had not been the victim of any security breaches.

"The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services," Apple said in a statement. The company went on to say it is working with law enforcement officials to identify the hackers.

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