Two years ago, an aspirant “hacker” in London tried to extort $100k from Apple, claiming he had access to 319 million iCloud accounts. In reality, he had access to a handful of previously compromised accounts, and the video he uploaded in which he accessed those accounts helped lead to his arrest. Oops.
Your money or your gift cards — On March 12, 2017, 22-year-old Kerem Albayrak demanded $75,000 in cryptocurrency or in iTunes cards from Apple. Two days later, he upped his demand to $100,000 and threatened to erase the content of the iCloud accounts, according to Business Insider.
Instead, Apple reported him to the police, who then tracked him to his home and arrested him. He eventually received a two-year suspended sentence, 300 hours of unpaid work, and restricted access to electronics.
Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested the would-be digital assailant in late March 2017, but could only report on the incident after his sentencing last Friday.
Famous for all the wrong reasons — The NCA’s investigation found that there’s no evidence Apple’s security was compromised, let alone to the extent Albayrak claimed. The NCA says it “became clear [Albayrak] was seeking fame and fortune.” Instead, he’s achieved infamy and a criminal record. Perhaps he should’ve tried his hand at Apple’s bug bounty program instead.