updated 09:36 pm EST, Tue January 14, 2014
Group has made dubious boasts before, claims probably untrue
[Update: the group has closed its Twitter account, saying it has "suspended operations" indefinitely] A hacker "group" that has previously made dubious claims of playing a role in attacks such as the recent Dropbox outage has now claimed it hacked into Apple's "user database" and posted a printout of some outdated user information on Pastebin as "proof." The group previously claimed to have hacked into Dropbox's database, but then changed its story and said that it was responsible for a "denial of service" attack that caused the outage (Dropbox have denied both claims).
The 1775 Sec's Twitter page boasts of the alleged attack, done with assistance from "the European Cyber Army." AppleInsider has verified that some of the information contained in the Pastbin document of "Apple user data" are legitimate names and details, but most appear to be old accounts, and there's nothing in the document to suggest that the data actually came from Apple.
It is possible that the 1775 Sec group is publishing old data gathered elsewhere, and using Apple's name to generate publicity. None of the emails in the document have "@mac," "@me," or "@icloud" provider extensions -- an unlikely event in any actual sampling of Apple user email addresses. There are, however, a lot of Gmail and what seem to be game developer accounts in the document.
"We repeatedly warned you Apple Inc," the group said in one of its recent tweets. "You thought because we faked some Drop Box leaks, that we actually didn't hack you? You made a foolish move Apple! We are the 1775Sec and the European Cyber Army!" The admission that the group initially lied about its involvement in the Dropbox outage -- which Dropbox says was caused by an internal error during scheduled maintenance, and insists no security breach took place -- also gives no reason why it would attack Apple, other than for publicity.
Apple did see a legitimate intrusion into its systems last summer through its developer portal. An investigation showed that no sensitive information was leaked, and Apple took the site down for just over a week before returning it with tighter security. Update: Earlier this evening, the group suddenly suspended its Twitter account and said it was halting "operations" indefinitely.