April 7th iPhones Will Be At Mercy of Turkish Crime Family-Undetermined!

April 7th iPhones Will Be At Mercy of Turkish Crime Family-Undetermined! 

Summary of eRumor:
A syndicate of hackers called “Turkish Crime Family” has threatened to remotely wipe the data from hundreds of millions of iPhones on April 7th unless Apple agrees to pay a ransom.
The Truth:
It’s not clear how credible warnings that hundreds of millions of iPhones will be at the mercy of Turkish Crime Family hackers on April 7th unless Apple agrees to pay a ransom are.
The warning started at the Vice blog Motherboard. Apple has reassured customers that hackers have not breached its systems, but the possibility of a third-party data breach still exists.
The initial report, which appeared at Motherboard under the headline, “Hackers: We Will Remotely Wipe iPhones Unless Apple Pays Ransom,” begins:

A hacker or group of hackers is apparently trying to extort Apple over alleged access to a large cache of iCloud and other Apple email accounts.

The hackers, who identified themselves as ‘Turkish Crime Family’, demanded $75,000 in Bitcoin or Ethereum, another increasingly popular crypto-currency, or $100,000 worth of iTunes gift cards in exchange for deleting the alleged cache of data.

“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 told Motherboard.

Follow-up reports indicated that the Turkish Crime Family had obtained the iCloud and email login information of some 559 million Apple users. An Apple spokesperson assured Fortune that the company hadn’t experienced a data breach, but added that the login information could have come from a third-party data breach:

“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.”

Sources have indicated that the log-in information could have come from a 2012 LinkedIn data breach that compromised the personal information of more than 165 million LinedIn users. It’s been widely reported that hackers have shopped around and possibly re-sold the data collected in the 2012 breach to other groups.

When it comes to the Turkish Crime Family’s ability to wipe hundreds of millions of iPhones of their data on April 7th, it’s not clear how significant the threat is, Fortune reports:

The likelihood of a mass remote wipe of iPhone data is unknown, though there is reason to be skeptical. The Apple spokesperson said that Apple is ” actively monitoring to prevent unauthorized access to user accounts and are working with law enforcement to identify the criminals involved. To protect against these type of attacks, we always recommend that users always use strong passwords, not use those same passwords across sites and turn on two-factor authentication.”

Although claims about the Turkish Crime Family reseting hundreds of millions of iPhones are undetermined at this point, it’s a good practice to regularly change the passwords of online accounts and to not use the same passwords across multiple accounts.