TL;DR: Kerem Albayrak, resident of the United Kingdom, admitted guilt involving the blackmail of Apple over its iCloud product, threatening to expose the personal data of hundreds of millions of users, for what amounted to more than £133,000 ($170,000) worth of bitcoin and roughly $1,000 in iTunes vouchers.
Apple iCloud $170,000+ Bitcoin Blackmailer Admits Guilt
Albayrak told authorities today he indeed attempted to blackmail Apple back in March of 2017, and pled guilty to two counts of hacking-related activity. The presiding judge refused to sentence Albayrak in favor of awaiting a more in-depth report, and scheduled determination of possible jail time later this month.
Kerem Albayrak was about 20 years old at the time crimes were committed, and an IT analyst. He initially targeted Apple for $75,000 in bitcoin before doubling that amount in return for not releasing hundreds of millions of iCloud users’ personal information. He even went so far as to video himself accessing iCloud as proof of his hacking prowess and posted the deed on YouTube.
Apple’s iCloud has been targeted a few times in recent years. Last year, a hacker responsible for sharing nude images from users’ personal iCloud storage, including those of celebrities, was found guilty and given prison time.
Ransomware attacks, of course, involving large businesses and bitcoin have been going on for a while. Most notably WannaCry infected computers all over the world, and it took authorities over a year before arresting a person involved. And, more recently, a giant multinational armored cash transport business was infected with Ryuk ransomware.
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