Apple Denies Breach Allegations of 600 Million iCloud Accounts

Contrary to the claims of a hacker group who has supposedly breached Apple’s systems to compromise over 600 million iCloud accounts, Apple has stated users’ data remains safe.

A report on Motherboard, a Vice blog, revealed claims by a hacker group that calls itself the “Turkish Crime Family” that threatened to remotely wipe hundreds of millions of iPhones of all their data, including photos, videos and messages. Altogether, one hacker claimed to have access to over 559 million Apple email and iCloud accounts. With some inconsistency in their stories, another hacker’s email claims to have access to over 300 million Apple email accounts, including ones that use the @icloud and @me domains.

“The hackers did not provide Motherboard with any of the supposedly stolen iCloud accounts to verify this claim,” the report confirmed.

The hackers’ demands? $75,000 in Bitcoin or Ethereum, two of the world’s most prominent cryptocurrencies, or, $100,000 worth of iTunes gift cards.

In a statement to Fortune, however, Apple has denied claims of any breaches to its systems, adding that the hackers’ claim stems from “previously compromised third-party services.

An Apple spokesperson told Fortune:

There have not been any breaches in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud and Apple ID. The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services.

More specifically, the report also adds that a majority of email accounts in the alleged breached data set matches the credentials, account names and passwords, contained in a data breach at LinkedIn. The prominent professional networking site was compromised in a data breach from 2012 that affected over 100 million accounts. Details of the breach, however, were only revealed last year.

“Apple is actively monitoring to prevent unauthorized access to user accounts and are working with law enforcement to identify the criminals involved,” the spokesperson added, confirming that Apple is paying attention to the hacker group’s claims.  “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.”

The alleged breach is among the biggest cybersecurity stories this week. With Apple’s refuting the hackers’ allegations, users’ fears could finally be put to rest.

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