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Hackers Threaten Apple For Ransom, Here’s How To Protect Your iCLoud Account

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Turkish Crime Family, a seven-membered hackers group claims their ability to access as many as 250 million iCloud accounts. They also urged to lock people out of their accounts by resetting their passwords on 7 April. Threatening Apple, the hackers have demanded money and said to wipe people’s linked iPhones if their demand is not fulfilled.

The truth and legitimacy of the threat are not cleared yet. However, this statement is a perfect time for people to be alert and secure their iClouds.

Demanded amount by the group from Apple is $700,000, to which they would let it go. Before the deadline, they may also expose their intentions said one of the group members.

“We have something planned soon before the attack.”

Apple has denied the claim saying that it doesn’t make any threat for the company. “There have not been any breaches in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud and Apple ID,” the company said in a statement.

“The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services. We’re actively monitoring to prevent unauthorized access to user accounts and are working with law enforcement to identify the criminals involved.”

Hackers have made an alleged demonstration to access some accounts which don’t prove that they have an access to many iCloud accounts. Someone using the same password for many accounts and has not changed them after a breach, his/her other accounts are also prone to vulnerability due to that one hacked account.

Hackers usually took the passwords and usernames from earlier data breaches and try them on other services. Many times they are successful in finding a useful set which works for other sites.

Giving a perfect  judgment for  the present situation, one of the hackers said, “If there was a breach or not, you’ll have to wait and see otherwise it is empty threats and just allegations.”

But to make yourself secure and protected, here are some measures you should follow to prevent being a victim of such situation.

Strong password

Keeping the same password for many accounts is not safe at all. The thing you have to do first is to change the password.

To make a strong password you could assist a password manager. However, for a perfect and secure password, you need to make it longer. It should at least contain 12-15 characters with some random one in it.

To make it unpredictable you should insert those things that could not be guessed. Name of any family member or the place you live in would not be secure enough. Whereas, any imaginary friend’s name or his birthday could work out.

Now, your first priority should be changing your password.

Two-factor Authentication

Apple’s two-factor authentication could help to make your iCloud account far more secure than ever. With a changed password, setting up two-factor authentication would give your account more privacy and keep it safe from any malicious act.

Also, it is stated by an engineer at Glassdoor that;

“Engineers at Apple get to make real contributions that will benefit tens or hundreds of millions of people every day. That’s awesome.”

Even if a hacker is aware of your password, he could not access to an account protected with two-factor authentication.

The ongoing Turkish crime family scenario could also be harmless for you with this authentication. Also, other attacks are prevented through it.

This feature could be activated on tabs of iOS and MacOS devices through iCloud Settings/System Preferences or you could also go to security after logging in an Apple ID account and turn on the service under two- factor authentication. From there you can set up a trusted device such as your iPhone and MacBook which would receive the codes to be entered after password if someone tries to log in your iCloud account from a new device.

This is the secure way which would prevent a hacker to access your account till he doesn’t have physical access to your account.

Now, if you have done both the steps i.e. setting up a strong password and turning on two- factor authentication, you are absolutely saved from any malicious act including this Turkish crime family incident.

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Zehra Ali is a Tech Reporter and Journalist. She has done her Masters in Mass Communication. Topics related to cybersecurity, IoT, AI, Big Data and other privacy matters are extensively covered by her on various platforms. You can follow her on twitter.

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