Hacker who blackmailed Apple gets a suspended jail sentence

After illegally obtaining access to the iCloud details of more than 300 iPhone users, a self-proclaimed hacker then attempted to blackmail Apple.

22-year-old Kerem Albayrak also threatened to do a factory reset (wipe out all user data) on the iPhone owners’ devices. Albayrak recently pleaded guilty on charges of blackmailing Apple.

He claimed to belong to the hacking group known as the ‘Turkish Crime Family’, and attempted to blackmail Apple by threatening to wipe out millions of Apple accounts.

Southwark Crown Court in London sentenced Albayrak to a suspended two-year jail term, as well as a six-month electronic curfew and 300 hours of unpaid labour.

Forbes reported over the weekend: “While iPhone users have recently been warned that they need to update to iOS 13.3 or risk getting locked out of their devices, Albayrak proposed to delete their data instead.”

Albayrak threatened to do a factory reset on about 319 iCloud accounts as well as a number of other Apple accounts.

Apple responded by reporting the matter to the National Crime Agency (NCA) in the UK as well as US law enforcement agencies.

The NCA led the UK investigation and subsequently arrested Albayrak at his north London home. The team also confiscated his hard drives, computers, smartphones and other digital devices.

The NCA later confirmed the arrest and the sentence on its Twitter account. The young hacker reportedly tried to extort cryptocurrency to the value of $75,000 or iTunes gift cards worth $100,000 from the Cupertino-based company.

He was brazen enough to write online that his hacking group would be able to do a factory reset on 150 accounts per script every minute, and that they would run 17 scripts per server. According to a statement by US investigators, no signs of an actual network compromise could be find.

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