What you need to know
- A 22-year-old man from London who tried to extort Apple will not face jail.
- Kerem Alyabyark demanded Apple give him $100,00 in bitcoin.
- He posed as a Turkish crime family and said that he could factory reset 382 million iCloud accounts.
A 22-year-old man from London who tried to extort Apple will not face jail time.
Kerem Albayrak, from Hornsey in north London, originally demanded $75,000 from Apple, or a thousand $100 iTunes gift cards in exchange for not releasing the logins and passwords of iCloud accounts in an attempt to gain online fame.
As reported by MailOnline, then aged 19, Albayrak made wild and varied brags to his friends, claiming to some that he could access 200 million accounts, and to others that he had the ability to factory reset 382 million iCloud accounts.
According to the report he later upped his demand to $100,000 in bitcoin. Prosecutor James Dawes QC described the crime as "a cynical attempt to extort money from one of the world's largest companies."
For his troubles, Albayrak was handed a two-year suspended sentence, and ordered to complete 300 hours of community service, as well as submit to wearing an electronic tag for 6 months. The report notes that during hearings, the court was shown a YouTube clip allegedly showing Albayrek infiltrating the iCloud accounts of two American users. On one, he edited writing in the notes section of the device, and in both cases he activated the Find My iPhone feature, pinging both devices to play a sound.
The defence claimed that Albayrak's claims were "totally unattainable", and that he was merely boasting to his friends. One message he sent to Apple read:
"Hello Apple I've decided to use all my servers and macroscripts on these accounts. If I don't get by payment by 3 December I will be hacking every iCloud account I have extracting all the notes and dumping them online."
He created an alias on Twitter named 'Turkish Crime Family' in a bid to attract public attention and even reached out to journalists to try and start some sort of media coup.
The sentence is likely a reflection of the fact that Albayrak was simply trying to attract attention and maybe profit from the situation, and confirmation that he is certainly not the dangerous hacker he claimed to be.