Ransomware group says it stole sensitive MacBook schematics


REvil's asking price to return the stolen data.

The Record


One of Apple’s best-guarded secrets, the full blueprints needed to manufacture its line of MacBooks, has been stolen by a hacking group called REvil, according to a new report from The Record. REvil claims it has breached Quanta Computer, a Taiwanese company that manufactures many of the world’s laptops — and says it’ll post them every day unless Apple hands over $50 million.

REvil reportedly posted on a dark web forum stating that Quanta had refused outright to pay up and get the stolen data back, which is why the group is now targeting Quanta’s biggest customer, Apple, instead. The group has already published 21 screenshots of schematics it claims are official.

To make matters even worse, the group says it’s in talks with “several major brands” to sell large quantities of drawings and “gigabytes of personal data” collected during the hack. That info could be comprised of data from any of Quanta’s major customers, like HP, Dell, Microsoft, Toshiba, LG, and Lenovo.

An important question remains: is REvil telling the truth?

Apple’s keeping quiet — Apple is really the only player in this mess that can confirm or deny the truth of REvil’s claims. For now, though, the tech giant is keeping its eyes open and its mouth sealed shut.

When asked for comment on the matter, Apple told The Record that it’s “looking into the incident” and has “nothing to share at the moment.” That’s generally Apple’s modus operandi in these cases — we probably won’t hear more from the company until the hack is settled.

But are the files real? — Ransomware attacks are particularly nasty because they attempt to extort resources from companies and individuals without any real proof of their threats. Those threats are heavy regardless of their truth.

In this case, for example, it’s unclear just how much data REvil has actually collected from Quanta. And if that data does amount to multiple gigabytes’ worth of information, it’s possible large swaths of it are outdated or irrelevant. One of the leaked schematics REvil is using as “proof” seems to be the schematics for the ThinkPad Z60m — a laptop that was released all the way back in 2005.

As far as Apple’s files go, the leaked schematics so far only depict the most basic of assembly information and technical specifications. Nothing sensitive, in other words, unless you’re worried about the hackers repairing their MacBooks.

Unless REvil, Apple, or Quanta keep us updated, it’s likely we’ll never know the extent of the leaked records. Last month REvil asked Acer for $50 million as well; neither party has followed up on that request as of yet.