Authorities in Taiwan say they are looking into a ransomware cyber-attack on a major technology firm there.
Quanta Computer is a manufacturer of many flagship Apple products, including its MacBook line.
The hackers, known as the Revil group, also known as Sodinokobi, is one of the most prolific and profitable cyber-criminal cartels in the world.
They have now published stolen blueprints for unreleased Apple products and are threatening to release more.
On their darknet website, the hackers are attempting to extort a ransom from Apple Corp directly, writing: “We recommend that Apple buy back available data by May 1.”
It is understood they are asking for tens of millions of dollars ransom.
How close the alleged stolen blueprints will be to any actual future products is not clear. Bloomberg reports that the leaked materials include the schematics for a future MacBook laptop. The Guardian reports that a new Apple Watch is also among them.
Apple has not responded to questions from Bloomberg, but Quanta confirmed a cyber-attack had taken place.
In a press release, the company said: “Quanta Computer’s information security team has worked with external IT experts in response to cyber-attacks on a small number of Quanta servers.
“We’ve reported to the relevant law enforcement and data protection authorities concerning recent abnormal activities observed.”
The release of the hacked material came just hours before Apple’s major product showcase event on Tuesday.
Revil said the timing was not a coincidence, writing that the data leak was “in order not to wait for the upcoming Apple presentations”.
The Taiwanese Investigation Bureau, under the justice ministry, told Nikkei Asia: “We are aware of an alleged cyber-attack involving Quanta and we are taking an initial step to look into and understand the nature of the incident.”
Revil is known to have previously hacked and extorted foreign exchange company Travelex.
The cyber-gang and other similar groups are known to have successfully targeted many other companies that have paid up and not disclosed the theft of their data.