A single hacker or group of hackers who have identified themselves as the "Turkish Crime Family" allegedly have access to at least 300 million iCloud accounts, but they are willing to delete the alleged cache of data if Apple pays a ransom by early next month, according to a report from Motherboard.

lock icloud
The hackers have allegedly demanded $75,000 to be paid in cryptocurrencies Bitcoin or Ethereum, or $100,000 worth of iTunes gift cards, by April 7, or they will reset a number of the iCloud accounts and remotely wipe victims' Apple devices. The email accounts are said to include @icloud.com, @me.com, and @mac.com addresses.

The report said that the hackers "provided screenshots of alleged emails between the group and members of Apple's security team," while the hackers also shared an unlinked YouTube video that seemingly shows proof of them accessing "an elderly woman's iCloud account" and "the ability to remotely wipe the device."

If the screenshotted email is accurate, which it very well might not be, a member of Apple's security team turned down the ransom, noting that Apple does "not reward cyber criminals for breaking the law."

"We firstly kindly request you to remove the video that you have uploaded on your YouTube channel as it's seeking unwanted attention, second of all we would like you to know that we do not reward cyber criminals for breaking the law," a message allegedly from a member of Apple's security team reads. (Motherboard only saw a screenshot of this message, and not the original). The alleged Apple team member then says archived communications with the hacker will be sent to the authorities.

Apple did apparently request to see a sample of the dataset, according to the report, but it is unclear if the hackers obliged.

"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," one of the hackers said.

The report should be treated with a healthy dose of skepticism, as these allegations could be untrue, and Apple has yet to confirm or comment on the matter.

Update: The group claims additional hackers have stepped forward and shared additional account credentials, putting the number of accessible iCloud accounts at over 627 million, according to security-centric website CSO Online.

Top Rated Comments

zorinlynx Avatar
94 months ago
Might be a good time to:

1) Make sure you have your own independent backup of all your data in iCloud. You should do this regardless of hacker threats.
2) Change your Apple ID password.
3) Check your signed-in devices list for any devices you don't recognize, and remove them.
4) For the love of whatever deity you believe in, enable two-factor authentication. C'mon, people. :)
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JustSomeInfo Avatar
94 months ago
If I could delete 300 million iCloud accounts, I'd ask for more than $75,000
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rainshadow Avatar
94 months ago
Go get a job. Certainly these skills could be used in the real world and could net you more than a measly $75,000.

Just wow.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djlythium Avatar
94 months ago
This is equally disturbing, and comical, as the hackers are like "APPLE! GIVE US MONEY! ...Or, you know, just free iTunes stuff. Either will do."
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gmanist1000 Avatar
94 months ago
Might be a good time to:

1) Make sure you have your own independent backup of all your data in iCloud. You should do this regardless of hacker threats.
2) Change your Apple ID password.
3) Check your signed-in devices list for any devices you don't recognize, and remove them.
4) For the love of whatever deity you believe in, enable two-factor authentication. C'mon, people. :)
Grandma doesn't know how to do any of that :(
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
94 months ago
If I could delete 300 million iCloud accounts, I'd ask for more than $75,000
Yes. To me, this is the give-away. They clearly picked an amount that is high enough for them to justify faking it all, but low enough to be a mere nuisance to Apple. If they were serious, they would be asking for millions.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Pro Max Generic Feature 2

5 Biggest Changes Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro Max

Tuesday May 21, 2024 7:29 am PDT by
Given Apple's rumored plan to add an all-new high-end tier to its iPhone 17 series in 2025, this could be the year for Apple to bring its boldest "Pro Max" model to the table — the kind of iPhone 16 upgrade that stands tall above its siblings, both figuratively and literally. If you have been holding out for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, here are five of the biggest changes rumored to be coming...
6chatgpt mac app

5 Reasons to Use OpenAI's ChatGPT App for Mac

Thursday May 23, 2024 6:07 am PDT by
On May 13, OpenAI during its Spring Update announced that it would be releasing a desktop ChatGPT app for the Mac in the "coming weeks," and said that ahead of a wider launch it had started rolling out the app to some ChatGPT Plus subscribers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. After testing the app for a few days, we thought it was worth sharing some reasons why...
macOS 15 Feature

macOS 15 System Settings to Get Design Overhaul

Thursday May 23, 2024 12:51 pm PDT by
With the macOS 15 update that is set to debut at WWDC in June, Apple plans to rearrange "menus and app UIs," according to a report from AppleInsider. The System Settings app, which was last updated with macOS Ventura, will get one of the biggest updates. With macOS Ventura, Apple renamed the System Preferences app to System Settings, introducing a design similar to the Settings app on the...
new best buy blue

Best Buy's Memorial Day Sale Has Record Low Prices on iPads, MacBooks, and Much More

Friday May 24, 2024 7:12 am PDT by
Best Buy today kicked off its Memorial Day weekend sale, and it has some of the best prices we've tracked in weeks on iPads and MacBooks. Specifically, you'll find record low prices on the 5th generation iPad Air, iPad mini 6, M2 MacBook Air, and M3 MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...