A British man who reportedly threatened to sell the personal details of 319 million iCloud users has been charged in a London court with blackmail and two counts of unauthorized acts with intent to impair the operation of a computer. According to Cult of Mac, 21-year-old IT analyst Kerem Albayrak allegedly filmed himself accessing people’s accounts and putting the footage online. He then demanded that Apple pay him $174,000 worth of bitcoin and $1,100 in iTunes vouchers or he'd sell the data.
"Mr. Karem Albayrak is accused of sending emails to Apple, making financial demands for downloading database iCloud accounts and factory resetting those iCloud accounts. He entered into the accounts of the alleged victims and posted a video of his hack onto YouTube," said the prosecutor.
Albayrak has yet to enter his pleas. He was granted unconditional bail until a preliminary hearing, which will take place on Nov. 14.
In other news, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the launch of it's Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub). The FinHub will serve as a source for public engagement on the agency's FinTech-related issues and initiatives, including distributed ledger technology (DLT), automated investment advice, digital marketplace financing and artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML).
"The SEC is committed to working with investors and market participants on new approaches to capital formation, market structure and financial services, with an eye toward enhancing, and in no way reducing, investor protection," said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton in a press release. "The FinHub provides a central point of focus for our efforts to monitor and engage on innovations in the securities markets that hold promise, but which also require a flexible, prompt regulatory response to execute our mission."
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has partnered with blockchain startup Coil to move its mission forward in providing payment services for the unbanked. According to CoinDesk, a tweet from Miller Abel, the foundation's deputy director and principal technologist, noted that the partnership will work to implement the Interledger Protocol and explore ways to support "pro-poor payment systems."