This year, a slew of cybercrime-related incidents have led Apple to take security seriously. For starters, the Apple Security Bounty program has been revamped. But not every cybersecurity incident the company faces is equally severe, or, in this case, even real. A 2017 case has been made public recently by the British National Crime Agency, following the conviction of cybercriminal Kerem Albayrak, part of a hacker group called the Turkish Crime Family.
Albayrak Falsely Claimed to Have Access to 319M iCloud Accounts: Attempted to Blackmail Apple
The 22-year-old London resident pretended to claim that he had access to 319 million iCloud accounts. He did so in an effort to obtain $100,000 from Apple in the form of iTunes cards. According to the UK’s National Crime Agency, Albayrak bragged that
“The attack will happen 99.9 percent. Even if it doesn’t, you’re still going to get A LOT of media attention.”
The investigation by the NCA revealed that Albayrak did not actually compromise any accounts himself. The “evidence” he showed was data that was previously compromised. Questions remain as to why he did it. According to the NCA, Albayrak stated that “When you have power on the internet, it’s like fame and everyone respects you.”
Following his conviction, Albayrak was sentenced to 300 hours of unpaid work, a curfew on electronics, and the condition that he wouldn’t have further run-ins with the law. Bringing the case to a close, the NCA said that:
“Albayrak wrongly believed he could escape justice after hacking into two accounts and attempting to blackmail a large multinational corporation.
During the investigation, it became clear that he was seeking fame and fortune. But cybercrime doesn’t pay.
The NCA is committed to bringing cybercriminals to justice. It is imperative victims report such compromises as soon as possible and retain all evidence.”