Earlier this week, American Genius reported that a group of hackers calling themselves the “Turkish Crime Family” has threatened to erase data, including photos, videos, and messages, from hundreds of millions of iPhones.
The plot is an attempt to blackmail Apple into shelling out either $75,000 in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ether, or $100,000 in iTunes gift cards.
They’ve given Apple until April 7 to comply with these demands.
If Apple won’t pay, they claim they will wipe the phones of millions of users, supposedly having collected emails and account information from 559 millions of Apple and iCloud users.
The hackers reached out to the media in an effort to put more pressure on Apple to comply, but no one is sure whether or not there really is blackmail that Apple needs to take care of.
Apple says nope
Apple has responded by assuring customers that they have not detected a security breach. Said a spokesperson for the company, “There have not been any breaches in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud and Apple ID.”
However, the hackers may, in fact, have their hands on some data “obtained from previously compromised third-party services.”
Insiders say that the data held by the Turkish Crime Family matches some of the data that was part of a massive breach of 100 million LinkedIn accounts in 2012.
Better safe than hacked
Hackers could have used passwords from this hack to break into Apple accounts. A person who used the same password for their LinkedIn account as their Apple account, for example, would be particularly at risk.
If you have an Apple or iCloud account, it would probably be best to update to a strong password, and don’t use the same password across accounts.