Hacker Blackmail Apple iCloud Hacking Avoids Prison

If you have dreams of blackmailing a company like Apple, then you must know the fate of this 22-year-old wannabe hacker Kerem Albayrak.

As per reports from Apple Insider and the UK’s National Crime Agency, the man who is based out of North London tried to blackmail Apple Security. He threatened to factory reset iPhones and iPads running 319 million compromised iCloud accounts and sell the database online. He wanted Apple to pay $75,000 in cryptocurrency or $100,000 in thousand iTunes gift cards for deleting the database.

Albayrak is part of a group called “Turkish Crime Family,” which he was representing while he blackmailed the iPhone-maker on March 12, 2017. He also sent a YouTube video where he accessed two iCloud accounts as proof. Further, he sent some more UK-based sample accounts to Apple Security and several media houses for verifying their authenticity.

Later, it was known that no Apple systems were breached around the time of blackmailing. In fact, the iCloud accounts were sourced from old breach databases of some now-defunct third-party services.

Almost two weeks after the blackmail, NCA investigators were able to track down and catch the culprit from his home in London. The devices confiscated from Albayrak’s home helped in linking him to the Turkish Crime Family.

Hunger for fame

Reports further reveal that Albayrak’s dumb attempt was more towards gaining supposed fame than doing any actual harm to the iPhone-maker, given if he could actually do it in the first place.

“The attack will happen 99.9%. Even if it doesn’t, you’re still going to get A LOT of media attention,” he bragged to the group in one of the conversations.

Albayrak told the NCA investigators that “once you get sucked into it [cyber crime], it just escalates and it makes it interesting when it’s illegal.”

“When you have power on the internet it’s like fame and everyone respects you,” he added. “Everyone is chasing that right now.”

Still couldn’t get away from justice

The fame-loving-hacker appeared in front of the Southwark Crown Court on December 2, 2019, and pleaded guilty for one count of blackmail and “two counts of unauthorized acts with intent to impair the operation of or prevent/hinder access to a computer.” –  National Crime Agency (NCA)

The court ruled on December 20 that Albayrak will have to serve a two-year suspended jail term, six months of electronic curfew, and 300 hours of labor.

Also Read: FBI Plans To Catch Hackers By Planting “Decoy Data”