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Apple has been roped into a massive ransomware attack by a Russian hacking group known as REvil (a.k.a. Sodinokibi), which is demanding $50 million in return for releasing stolen MacBook schematics.
Instead of hacking Apple directly, REvil hacked the Taiwanese manufacturing company Quanta, one of Apple’s partners that helps manufacture MacBooks and related products, which was previously in possession of these schematics.
The group first demanded $50 million from Quanta itself, but after that failed the hackers began attempting to put pressure on Apple instead.
The latest development occurred on April 20th, when the group posted 21 screenshots of various schematics timed to coincide with Apple’s latest spring event.
Among them were plans for the new M1 iMac, which Apple was in the process of announcing for the first time.
REvil is demanding to receive payment by May 1st, and has threatened to continue releasing schematics in a similar fashion, although they have not made a new monetary demand aimed at Apple at this time.
It is also not evident how much data the hacking attempt was able to access, although REvil claims to have more data on the Apple Watch, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro to release.
Quanta, meanwhile, says that it is working with external security experts, and that there is “no material impact” on operations from the server hack.
This is not the first time that REvil hackers have attempted ransomware attacks on major technology brands. Very similar attacks have recently been made against Acer and other companies, with repeated demands for similar amounts.
If the leaked documents are legitimate, they reveal a number of facts about Apple’s designs, including a new, unreleased laptop. This puts Apple and Quanta in a difficult situation, although Apple has not yet made an official statement about the matter.