Apple targeted in ransomware attack; asked to pay $50 million


US tech giant Apple has been the target of a new ransomware attack after a trove of engineering and manufacturing schematics was stolen from Quanta, a Taiwan-based company that is responsible for manufacturing many Apple products including the MacBook laptops. The schematics included current and future products.

A report by The Record suggests that the leak was carried out by Russian hacking group Revil, also known as Sodinokibi. The group apparently demanded a sum of $50 million to not release the schematics. After Quanta refused to comply with the demands of the attackers, the group begun posting the stolen images on April 20, timing the leaks with Apple’s Spring Loaded launch event to send a message.

Now targeting Apple directly, the group is hoping to get the tech giant to pay up by May 1 and threatens to continue posting new images from the leak each day until then.

“Quanta Computer’s information security team has worked with external IT experts in response to cyberattacks on a small number of Quanta servers,” the Taiwanese company said in a statement to Bloomberg, confirming that its servers were breached.

The company also stated that the hack left no “material impact on the company’s business operation”.

While Apple is yet to clarify the extent of the leak, leaked images from April 20 already suggest the claims could be true. The leaked images contained manufacturing diagrams for Apple’s 2020 M1 MacBook Air as well as schematics for the new iMac design that Apple launched on April 20, among others.

Not REvil’s first attack

The Russian group associated with the attack has targeted other companies before, including laptop manufacturer Acer and cosmetics group Pierre Fabre. However, the Apple attack is the group’s biggest attack yet.

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