Apple Disputes Hacker Group’s Claim of Massive iCloud Hack

Contrary to a hacker group's claims, Apple said none of its systems, including iCloud and Apple ID, have been breached recently. However, the company said it is keeping an eye open for potential problems and recommends that users employ security measures such as strong passwords and two-factor authentication.

According to a report Tuesday in Motherboard, a group calling itself the "Turkish Crime Family" claimed it could remotely access hundreds of millions of Apple accounts and could use that access to wipe users' devices. The hacker(s) said they would do so on April 7 unless Apple paid a ransom of $75,000 to $100,000.

In another Apple-related development, the news leak organization WikiLeaks today posted new documents from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that purport to show how the agency can infect Apple products to gain persistent access to Mac computers, iPhones, and other devices. The new disclosure is the second WikiLeaks release of classified "Vault 7" information from the CIA.

Apple: 'No Breaches of Any Systems'

"There have not been any breaches in any of Apple's systems including iCloud and Apple ID," a company spokesperson told us today via email. "The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services."

Writing in Motherboard earlier this week, Joseph Cox said the self-identified "Turkish Crime Family" had provided his publication with screenshots purportedly showing the hackers' email conversations with members of Apple's security team. One of the email conversations appeared to show Apple employees asking the hackers to remove a YouTube video showing how they were able to access one woman's iCloud account.

"This is a weird story, and I'm skeptical of some of the details," cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier noted this morning on his blog. "Presumably Apple has decided that it's smarter to spend the money on secure backups and...

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