iPhone & iPad users held to ransom by Apple ID hackers

Hackers demand $100 to unlock devices they've seized, but Apple denies iCloud hack is to blame

Apple has denied reports that hackers compromised its iCloud online storage service to carry out a series of remote attacks against Australian iPhone and iPad users.

A slew of Australian Apple users have reported being locked out of their iPhones, iPads and Macs remotely by hackers since Monday.

Victims have flooded Apple support forums with reports of being locked out of their devices by a group or individual claiming to be Oleg Pliss.

A message that appears on the affected devices also demands $100 or Euros from the owner to unlock a passcode the hackers have put in place.

"I have no idea how this happened. I am not aware of being exposed to malware or anything else, although I did recently purchase some new apps," wrote Veritylikestea, who first raised the alarm about the attacks.

In order to send a message of that ilk and lock a device, the hackers would have had to gain access to a user's Apple ID and password, and used that to log into the firm's online storage service iCloud.

From here, they could add passcode protection to devices using Apple's Find My iPhone/iPad feature.

The forum reports seem to suggest the attack took place in the early hours of yesterday morning in Australia, with many writing about being woken up by the message arriving.

At the moment, only Australian devices without passcode protection in place seem to be affected.

Some users claim to have regained access to their devices by restoring it from a backup via iTunes, and many others are resetting their iCloud passwords as a precaution.

Apple has since released a statement insisting that iCloud was not to blame for hackers gaining access to the victims' devices.

"Apple takes security very seriously and iCloud was not compromised during this incident," the statement reads.

"Impacted users should change their Apple ID password as soon as possible and avoid using the same name and password for multiple devices.

"Any users who need additional help can contact AppleCare or visit their local Apple retail store," it concludes.

Featured Resources

How virtual desktop infrastructure enables digital transformation

Challenges and benefits of VDI

Free download

The Okta digital trust index

Exploring the human edge of trust

Free download

Optimising workload placement in your hybrid cloud

Deliver increased IT agility with the cloud

Free Download

Modernise endpoint protection and leave your legacy challenges behind

The risk of keeping your legacy endpoint security tools

Download now

Recommended

Hackers use Linux backdoor on compromised e-commerce sites with software skimmer
malware

Hackers use Linux backdoor on compromised e-commerce sites with software skimmer

19 Nov 2021
Iranian hackers ramp up attacks against IT services sector
hacking

Iranian hackers ramp up attacks against IT services sector

19 Nov 2021
TikTok phishing campaign tried to scam over 125 influencer accounts
social media

TikTok phishing campaign tried to scam over 125 influencer accounts

18 Nov 2021
Alibaba ECS instances targeted in new cryptojacking campaign
cryptocurrencies

Alibaba ECS instances targeted in new cryptojacking campaign

16 Nov 2021

Most Popular

How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD
Microsoft Windows

How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD

4 Jan 2022
Microsoft Exchange servers break thanks to 'Y2K22' bug
email delivery

Microsoft Exchange servers break thanks to 'Y2K22' bug

4 Jan 2022
Solving cyber security's diversity problem
Careers & training

Solving cyber security's diversity problem

5 Jan 2022