Russian hackers are blackmailing Apple for RM205 million with stolen schematics from manufacturers

Cybersecurity has, and will continue to play an important role in the global economy—particularly as companies, and in fact, industries, continue to digitalise their various processes. Now, Apple are the latest victims of a cyber attack, one that puts their intellectual property (and future products) at risk.

As first reported by The Record, the issue stems from a cyberattack on Quanta, a manufacturing company in Taiwan responsible for the production of MacBooks and other Apple products. The attackers, called REvil, are demanding for a ransom of USD 50 million (~RM205 million) from Apple, after Quanta refused to pay the ransom initially.

As a result of Quanta’s defiance, REvil shared a number of stolen images on a portal on the Dark Web—and apparently, the images were shared on the same day as Apple’s recent event to prove a point. A number of new products were launched, including the new M1-powered iMacs, and the attackers shared schematics for some of these devices to prove the authenticity of the images.

These images also reportedly had warnings plastered on them, just to add to the veracity, such as “This is the property of Apple”, along with messages that these documents were not to be reproduced. Other leaked images, as per The Record, showed off schematics of a yet-to-be-released laptop.

The deadline for the ransom, according to REvil, is the 1st of May 2021—which is just over a week away:

“Our team is negotiating the sale of large quantities of confidential drawings and gigabytes of personal data with several major brands,” the REvil operators wrote. “We recommend that Apple buy back the available data by May 1.”

This isn’t the first time that REvil has made ransom demands like this, with Acer falling prey to a similar scheme earlier this year. Other notable clients of Quanta reportedly include HP, Microsoft, and Lenovo, among others. For now, Apple has yet to release an official statement to address the matter, but we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for any developments.

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