If you're one of the hordes of people with an iCloud or Apple email account, you'd be wise to immediately change your password in the wake of reports that a significant portion of the network has been breached by hackers, who're threatening to remotely reset accounts and wipe users' devices if Apple doesn't pay up.
As was first reported by Motherboard, a cabal of hackers calling itself the Turkish Crime Family claims its cracked the passwords for as many as 559 million million iCloud and Apple email accounts (e.g., those with either @icloud.com and @me.com domains), and will only delete its list of compromised Apple IDs and email addresses in exchange for Tim Cook and co. forking over either $75,000 in Bitcoin or $100,000 in iTunes Gift Cards.
As you might have guessed by the truly bizarre ransom request, Apple isn't biting. The company is reassuring customers their accounts are fine and calling the hackers' bluff. In a comment to Fortune regarding the alleged hack, an Apple spokesperson said "there have not been any breaches in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud and Apple ID," and that "the alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services."
However, if we've learned anything from the massive Yahoo hack and Netflix password leak that recently came to light, it can take years for companies to realize they've been breached, so mere murmurs that your account may have compromised warrants a proactive password reset.
To reset, head to AppleID.apple.com, enter your credentials, and come up with something fresh.
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