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Apple has announced that their system has not been breached by a hacker or hackers, after it was reported earlier this week that they were attempting to use an alleged store of iCloud accounts and Apple emails to extort thousands of dollars worth of digital currency from the company.
On Tuesday, Motherboard reported that the hackers, who identified themselves as ‘Turkish Crime Family’, were demanding $75,000 in Bitcoin or Ethereum, or $100,000 worth of iTunes gift cards in exchange for deleting the supposed horde of data.
The hackers claimed they had access to more than 300 million Apple email accounts; however, this number was then changed to 559 million accounts.
Now, though, in a report from Fortune, Apple have stated that their systems have not been breached, but that if the list is authentic, it was not obtained through an Apple hack.
An Apple spokesman said:
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.
According to Fortune, a person aware of the contents of the unproven data set said that many of the passwords and email accounts are those that match data that was leaked in a previous breach at LinkedIn.
With hackers typically recycling past hacked data for future scams, there may be reason to be skeptical of this alleged hack.
Criminals Turn to Ether for Ransom
Interestingly, in the past, hackers have tended to demand their ransom payments in bitcoin.
Now, though, in what may be the first incident, hackers are turning their attention to Bitcoin’s rival: Ethereum.
For years Bitcoin has been the prominent currency of choice for criminals, but in recent weeks Ethereum is gaining ground and distinction, which is positioning itself as a viable alternative when it comes to ransom demands.
Last week it was reported that Ethereum’s price rose above $57 on Coinbase before dropping down to $35. It has since risen to just below $45 with a market cap value of just over $4 billion.
In what is considered the first high-profile extortion case seeking Ether, this could mean that more criminals will eventually demand payments in it as its value steadily rises, gaining ground on Bitcoin.
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