Hackers Say They Will Wipe iPhones Unless Apple Pays Ransom

Image courtesy of (Adam Fagen)

Hundreds of millions of iPhone owners may be up a creek next month, at least according to a hacker group that claims to have unprecedented access to the devices and is threatening to remotely wipe them clean if Apple doesn’t pay up.

Motherboard reports that the group of hackers — known as the Turkish Crime Family — allegedly gained access to a list of between 300 million and 559 million iCloud and Apple email accounts and plan to delete the associated devices on April 7.

That is unless Apple pays it $75,000 in crypto-currency or $100,000 worth of iTunes gift cards. If that happens, the hackers say they will simply delete the list.

An exchange between the group of hackers and Apple security team members has been ongoing for at least a week, Motherboard reports, citing screenshots of emails between the two parties.

In one email a security team member asks for a sample of the hacker’s list. In another, the hackers claim they have 300 million emails, while yet another claims the list contains 559 accounts.

The hackers also uploaded a video to YouTube showing they had accessed a woman’s iCloud account and could wipe her device remotely, Motherboard reports.

Apple responded in an email — a screenshot of which was seen by Motherboard — asking the hackers to remove the video as it was “seeking unwanted attention.”

The security team member also noted that the company does not reward cyber criminals for breaking the law and that the communications between the parties will be sent to authorities.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.