Hackers attack Apple and demand a $ 50 million ransom, unreleased MacBook escape project

One of Apple’s laptop makers was recently the victim of a cyber attack by a Russian hacker group. The subsequent data loss is now being used by the threat actors to extort money from Apple.

(Image: Unsplash / Ales Nesetril)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A group of hackers stole confidential data depicting Apple products arriving through one of Apple’s suppliers.
  • The group is now demanding a $ 50 million ransom for the stolen data.
  • It threatens to release blueprints of incoming Apple products every day until the ransom is paid.

A Russian hacker group is extorting Apple for a claimed sum of $ 50 million, after obtaining blueprints of many of its future products. The group posted evidence of the data leak on the dark web hours before Apple’s spring event earlier this week.

Called REvil, the hacker group obtained the confidential data through a cyber attack against one of the makers of MacBooks and other Apple products. The target was a Taiwan-based company called Quanta, which also confirmed the data leak in a Bloomberg report.

The threat actors first tried to extort the lost data from Quanta. When Quanta refused to pay to get the stolen data back, the hackers decided to go after its biggest Apple customer. The group revealed the intent in a message posted on a dark web portal, as noted by The Record in a report.

It was then that REvil started publishing stolen Apple product images. The group posted 21 screenshots depicting schematics from the newly released iMac that weren’t made public prior to launch. The post therefore came as a testament to the legitimacy of the stolen data.

In addition to the iMac, images released to date also include production diagrams for the M1 MacBook Air launched last year and an unreleased laptop from Apple. The screenshots also display warnings on the pages: “This is Apple’s property and must be returned,” which means that the schematics actually belong to Apple.

The hacker group has threatened to publish new data every day until they receive the $ 50 million ransom from Apple or Quanta. The group is trying to get the ransom by 1 May.

Not just Apple

In addition to Apple, Quanta Computer has a longstanding clientele that includes some of the biggest names in the laptop industry. These include the likes of HP, Dell, Microsoft, Toshiba, LG, Lenovo, and others.

In his dark web post, REvil hinted at having data from other companies as well. “Our team is negotiating the sale of large quantities of confidential designs and gigabytes of personal data with several major brands,” the REvil operators wrote.

The exact extent of the cyber attack and subsequent data leak is still unknown.

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