A hacker, Kerem Albayrak, who threatened to reset 300 million iPhones after having access to users' iCloud details, has pleaded guilty to the charges of blackmailing the US tech giant Apple. According to reports, Albayrak said that he was a part of the hacking group Turkish Crime Family, tried to blackmail Apple by threatening to delete millions of accounts of Apple users.
In a hearing at the Southwark Crown Court, London, The self-proclaimed hacker was awarded a suspended jail term of two years, 300 hours of community service and an electronic curfew for a period of six months. According to reports, iPhone users were asked to upgrade to the latest version of the IOS software or risk of getting locked out of their device but Albayrak suggested to delete all of their data.
Albayrak had threatened Apple that he will reset more than 300 user accounts after gaining access to their iCloud details alongside other Apple accounts. He demanded $75,000 in the form of crypto-currency or iTunes gift cards worth $100,000. After the ransom demand, Apple got in touch with US law enforcement agencies and the National Crime Agency(NCA) that led the investigation in the United Kingdom. Before being apprehended by the authorities, the hacker said that Turkish Crime Family had enough capability to wipe out data of 150 iPhones per minute, adding that could process 17 scripts per server.
A recent ransomware incident in New Jersey highlighted the severity of ransomware cyber-attacks that target government's critical infrastructures including hospitals and medical facilities. Hackensack Meridian Health in New Jersey fell prey to a deadly ransomware attack. However, the details of the incident were disclosed a week after the attack. The Hackensack Meridian Health, which happens to be the largest hospital system in New Jersey, decided to pay attackers' ransom demands to regain control over its system and avoid putting the lives of patients to risk by delaying care and treatment.
(With inputs from agencies)