Good morning dear Tecnogalaxy readers, today we are going to talk about Apple being hit by ransomware.

A gang of hackers has stolen files from a company that makes Apple products and is openly trying to extort money from the tech giant in exchange for not leaking them.

Apple declined to comment on whether it intended to pay. The hackers’ extortion letter to the company remained online.

The Taiwanese company that was hacked, Quanta, makes a range of computer products, including the Mac Pro.

The hackers, who posted the extortion letter and three sample technical files on their dark web blog, are among more than a dozen prolific cybercrime organizations that have consistently hacked targets around the world in recent years, encrypting victims’ files or threatening to publish them and demanding a ransom, usually in bitcoin.

While U.S. law enforcement is closely tracking the hackers behind the ransomware gangs, the organizations tend to operate in countries that don’t extradite to the U.S., particularly Russia, law enforcement officials say, making it essentially impossible to physically stop them unless the hackers travel. internationally.

While ransomware attacks have become increasingly common in recent years, the extortion attempt against Apple is the rare instance in which a ransomware gang publicly targets and taunts a major American brand. Most gangs focus on smaller targets and use blogs to increase public pressure on their victims to pay up or are “big game hunters” who target large corporations for huge payouts but don’t publicize the acts, allowing companies to save face.

Apple attack

The Apple attack is particularly visible as the Biden administration moves to address the proliferation of ransomware. White House officials said they will announce a comprehensive ransomware strategy in the coming weeks that will focus on bringing international pressure on host countries to stop the bands, and the Justice Department would form a task force to better address the problem.

Paying for ransomware is risky because some victims still can’t recover their files. Others acknowledge they’ve been hacked and announce they won’t pay, as CD Projekt Red, the creator of the Cyberpunk 2077 video game, did in February.

It’s unclear how damaging or significant the Quanta files are. A company spokesperson said in a statement that its “information security defense mechanism was activated in a very short time” and that only “a small range of services were affected by the attacks.”

Brett Callow, who tracks ransomware gangs for cybersecurity firm Emsisoft, said the hackers’ actions give Apple few options.

“I think it depends entirely on the sensitivity of the data that was exfiltrated. If the release of the information could have a significant impact on the bottom line of one of Quanta’s clients, someone might be willing to pay to prevent its release. If not, [hackers] will probably strike,” he said.

Moreover, there is no guarantee that the hackers will honor their price.

“Apple’s options are pretty simple,” Callow said. “Refuse to pay and devise strategies to manage the information that becomes public or pay for a promise that [hackers] will destroy the data. But why would they destroy it, especially if it has significant market value?”

This attack won’t mean as much if apple can close the flaws that were there, and if they can trace the files the hacker group got to so they can pull a counteroffensive trying to render the files useless.

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