In an official statement, a spokesperson for Apple Inc. – led by CEO Tim Cook – has gone on record to flatly deny that any breaches to its systems have taken place, and that all user data, including iCloud account credentials, are safe and have not been leaked into the hands of any hacking groups.
Apple’s statement has come after a hacking group calling itself the “Turkish Crime Family” claimed access to around 300 million iCloud accounts, and that it would start to remotely wipe user devices if the Cupertino-based company didn’t pay a ransom totaling $75,000-$100,000.
According to Apple’s statement, the iCloud or account information held by the hackers is likely from “previously compromised third-party services”, meaning that the world’s richest company, and manufacturer of iPhone and iPad, has the evidence, or lack thereof, to confirm that no breach has taken place in order for the group to obtain this type of account information.
The statement from Apple is included below:
There have not been any breaches in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud and Apple ID. The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services. Apple is actively monitoring to prevent unauthorized access to user accounts and are working with law enforcement to identify the criminals involved. To protect against these type of attacks, we always recommend that users always use strong passwords, not use those same passwords across sites and turn on two-factor authentication.
If accurate, then it would seem that the individual, or individuals, behind the Turkish Crime Family group is trying to extort money out of Apple in return for the deletion of account information which has been obtained external to Apple’s own servers and infrastructure. It’s currently unclear where that information may have come from, or even if the group has the account information it claims to have, but it’s possible that it could have been obtained from a previously compromised service, such as Yahoo or similar.
For now, Apple account holders can rest safe in the knowledge that their data is safe and protected in the hands of Apple, and that Tim Cook’s company will be working closely with the necessary organization and agencies to find the individuals who have been trying to extort the business for financial gain.
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