A 22-year-old man who claimed to be the spokesman for a hacker group called the “Turkish Crime Family” has pleaded guilty in London to trying to blackmail Apple, reports Bloomberg.
In March 2017, Kerem Albayrak claimed to have access to several million iCloud accounts and demanded that Apple pay $75,000 in cryptocurrencies, or he would reset a number of the accounts and make the database available online. He later raised his demand to $100,000.
Apple responded to the ransom threat at the time by saying there had been no breaches of its systems. Indeed, according to the U.K.’s National Crime Agency (NCA), the data Albayrak claimed to have was from previously compromised third-party services which were mostly inactive, as Apple originally claimed.
A senior investigative officer at the NCA said in a statement that during the investigation, “it became clear that Albayrak was seeking fame and fortune.”
Branded a “fame-hungry cyber-criminal” by the NCA, Albayrak told investigators that “when you have power on the internet it’s like fame and everyone respects you, and everyone is chasing that right now.”
Albayrak avoided prison time and instead was given a two-year suspended sentence following the NCA investigation. He was also sentenced to a six-month electronic curfew and 300 hours of unpaid work.