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Hackers attempt to coerce Apple after getting their hands on its product files

Esperanza Gomez



A hacker group stole crucial files from a firm that makes Apple products and is now trying to openly coerce Apple for not leaking them in return. The letter asking for extortion from the group stayed online till late Thursday.

While the tech giant Apple declined to comment, the Taiwan-based company Quanta that was hacked by the gang manufactures a wide range of Apple products like Mac Pro, and a lot more. The gang posted three technical files as a sample along with the letter through their blog on the dark web.

These hackers are a part of nearly a dozen significant organizations for cybercrime, that are known to constantly hack several targets from all over the world. They either encrypt the victims’ files or ask for a ransom as an exchange (generally bitcoins) for not leaking them to the world.

Though these are common nowadays, mocking an American giant like Apple in public happens to be an uncommon attempt by such gangs. These gangs either target small victims and pressurize them with blogs, or focus on giant firms for significant ransom. However, such acts aren’t usually publicized to save the companies’ faces.

Meanwhile, the US law enforcement agencies are constantly monitoring to track the hackers down. However, these organizations usually operate from such countries as Russia that have no extradition to the US, as per the agencies’ statement. So, it is impossible to physically stop such people, unless they travel internationally, the agencies say.

The attack on Apple is clearly visible as president Biden and his administration plan to address the ransom escalations. A statement from the White House read that the officials are soon to announce a comprehensive strategy based on ransomware. This plan will focus on pressuring the host countries internationally to curb their actions. Reportedly, the Justice Department has formed a task force to look into the problem better.

Paying the demanded ransom isn’t safe as there is no scope for the victims to receive their files back. It isn’t yet clear how crucial the stolen files are and the damage they could cause. Quanta’s spokesperson stated that the company has activated the information security mechanism immediately and that the hack’s impact was little.

There is no assurance from hackers to return the files yet. Brett Callow from Cybersecurity firm Emsisoft stated that Apple was given some choices. His statement read, “I think it entirely depends on the sensitivity of the data that was exfiltrated. If the release of the information could have a significant impact on one of Quanta’s customers’ bottom line, then somebody may be willing to pay to prevent it being released.” He also said that Apple has multiple options to deal with the hack.

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