Hackers Hold 300 Million Apple Accounts to Ransom
By TLB Contributing author: Sally Phillips
Around 300 million Apple accounts are in danger of being wiped by hackers unless you or Apple pays up. According to Forbes, the hackers have gained access to a huge number of iCloud accounts. The reported hack comes from a group calling itself the Turkish Crime Family have already demanded either $100,000 in iTunes gift cards or $75,000 in either Bitcoin or Ethereum, both cryptographies. Hacks are an almost daily occurrence with some banks across the world or even extramarital dating sites being hacked, but this hack brings into question the security of cloud computing.
What to do if You Have an Apple Account
First of all, keep calm. Apple has no intention of paying criminals for breaking the law. Furthermore, there’s no evidence that they have access to 300 million as the YouTube video they’ve shared with Apple and Forbes only shows access to 1 account. Indeed, this may be the only account and there’s no knowing whose accounts they really have access to.
In such circumstances, it is a good idea to do the same thing. If you hear, legitimately, of any company you hold an account with being hacked, just do the same thing. Login to your account and change the password. The best account security systems will have a 2 stage login which is easier to encrypt and more difficult to hack. If you can gain access to your account and change the password your information and saved files will be safe. This is because most hackers work off a list of usernames, emails, and passwords. Once the password is changed, even if you are on the list, the information becomes useless to them.
Are Cloud Accounts Safe from Hackers?
Since the news came out, above, Apple have responded by stating that their iCloud and Apple ID systems as well as others have not been breached, but it was a compromised 3rd party service which had provided the hackers with the list of user IDs and passwords. This is reassuring for many business owners because they rely upon cloud computing and storage services such as iCloud for processing and sharing business information. In a global hacking environment it is essential for businesses to choose cloud services with the best security available. This means combining good services such as file sharing and syncing with encrypted data and two-stage verification. Most good, cloud services are encrypted and therefore the largest security risk will remain lax employees.
The Good, The Bad, and the CIA
The news comes on the heels of a report from WikiLeaks revealing a CIA program to hack Mac computers and iPhones. The apparent hack, which has been deemed plausible by experts, aims to create a hack that even resetting a phone won’t disable. The good news for the vast majority of Apple users is that it’s only being done to the bad guys and requires physical access to the phone – usually one of the older, 3G models. Neither Apple nor the CIA have commented on this, but security firms believe it’s nothing for normal, ie good, users to worry about.
About the Author: Sally Phillips is an author and concerned citizen who feels it is her mission to make people aware of the facts behind the many issues they face in their daily lives.
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