Apple denies breach after hackers threaten to wipe 600 million iCloud accounts

The hackers claim they will wipe the accounts if Apple does not pay up a $150,000 bitcoin ransom
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Claims of an enormous hack at Apple have been refuted by the tech giant. A group of hackers yesterday announced that it would hold Apple to ransom after accessing more than 600 million iCloud accounts. However, an Apple spokesman has said that there have been no breaches of its systems.

This, however, does not mean that the group of hackers – known as the ‘Turkish Crime Family’ – is lying about having access to millions of people’s data, including Apple IDs and passwords. Apple confirmed that there is a possibility that the hackers obtained the data from previously compromised third-party services.

“There have not been any breaches in any of Apple's systems including iCloud and Apple ID," the spokesperson said. "The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services.”

He added: "Apple is actively monitoring to prevent unauthorized access to user accounts and are working with law enforcement to identify the criminals involved."

The response follows a report on Motherboard that claimed a group of hackers was demanding a $150,000 Bitcoin or Ethereum payout. If Apple does not pay-up by April 7, the hackers have threatened to reset iCloud accounts and remotely wipe victims’ devices. To add another twist to the tale, the hackers will increase the ransom if it is not paid by the end of the week.

The hackers say at least 220 million of the login details – for icloud.com, me.com and mac.com email addresses – have been verified and do not have two-step authentication enabled.

With Apple denying a breach, it is possible that account information has been obtained from other major hacks including the likes of Yahoo. iCloud users who use the same password for their Apple devices as with a compromised site should change their iCloud password immediately. 

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