UK Police Arrest Man Potentially Linked to Turkish Crime Family (aka Apple Extortionists)

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Mar 30, 2017
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British authorities have reportedly arrested a 20-year-old man who is suspected to be a member of the group calling itself the Turkish Crime Family. The group recently gained media attention after trying to blackmail Apple for $100,000 in iTunes gift cards.

UK police arrests man allegedly linked to Turkish Crime Family

One of the alleged members of a cyber crime group Turkish Crime Family, who threatened Apple last week to remotely wipe data of millions of iOS devices unless Apple pays a ransom, has now reportedly been arrested. The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested this potential member of TCF on suspicion of hacking and extortion offenses. Motherboard, who was the first to report the story, said that he has now been bailed pending further inquiries.

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In an email to Wccftech, the Turkish Crime Family said that “Apple is currently trying to legally stop the attack as they’ve come to realize that the attack is now highly possible due to checks they have done on their systems”. Similar to their earlier communication with us, the group remains inaccurate in their own claims, as they have previously admitted that the data has nothing do with any breaches of Apple servers, and comes from third-party sources.

“They’re targeting people that had nothing to do with this upcoming attack and the group,” they wrote. The group has been trying to capitalize on media attention to push Apple to pay ransom money. Following this email – which was apparently sent to several media outlets, along with Wccftech – folks at Motherboard contacted the NCA.

“National Crime Agency officers arrested a 20 year-old male and searched an address in London, N10 on Tuesday 28 March in relation to suspected Computer Misuse Act and extortion offences,” an NCA spokesperson confirmed to the publication when they sent the copy of the warrant to the agency. However, it won’t share any further details or confirm whether the name on the warrant that the Turkish Crime Family has sent matches that of the person that the agency has arrested.

As noted by Motherboard, blackmail is a serious crime under UK law and carries severe repercussions, that could translate into a 14-year-long jail time and hefty fines. According to the warrant, the alleged member of TCF who has been arrested by NCA is suspected of having committed blackmail contrary to Section 21 of the Theft Act 1968 and unauthorized access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offenses contrary to Section 2 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

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Following the initial extortion reports, Apple had released a statement confirming that the company hasn’t suffered any breaches. It also added that it’s been working with law enforcement to identify the criminals involved. Going by the warrant, video shared by the Turkish Crime Family and the urgency of communication, it appears that the arrest could be linked to the group.

While it’s unclear what will happen next, users are advised to change their iCloud passwords and enable two-factor authentication to secure themselves from any such threats.

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