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Many iDevices across Australia locked up by hackers, ransom required for unlocking

Posted: , by Peter K.

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Many iDevices across Australia locked up by hackers, ransom required for unlocking
It appears that a plethora of users in Down Under have fallen victims to a pretty vast ransomware attack, which affects Apple iPhones, iPads, and Macs alike. A wide array of these got remotely locked up by ill-doers, who exploited the Find My iPhone feature and rendered the affected devices literally unusable. On top of it all, the crackers behind the attack sent multiple ransom notes that demanded the affected users to pay between 50 and 100 Australian dollars to a certain PayPal account in order to regain control of their beloved gadgets. Most of the ransom notes state that Oleg Pliss was the cracker behind the malicious attack.

It is also important to say that the affected devices got locked up by no malicious app or program. The culprits for the unfortunate event are nothing else but compromised Apple IDs, the passwords for which could have been easily stolen "from recent data breaches". If we also take into consideration that most people tend to use one and the same password for years, it comes to no surprise that the wrongdoers succeeded in locking up a big number of Apple devices.

"It’s quite possible this is occurring by exploiting password reuse. Regardless of how difficult someone believes a password is to guess, if it's been compromised in another service and exposed in an unencrypted fashion, then it puts every other service where it has been reused at risk," claimed Troy Hunt, an IT security expert.

Fortunately, Apple IDs with a two-step authentication have not been affected by the scam. In addition, those unlucky owners of Apple devices with passcodes easily succeeded in reclaiming control of their gadgets.

Still, it seems that some of the affected users fell into the trap and sent money to the email that Oleg Pliss listed in the ransom notes. Interestingly, a PayPal representative revealed that there was no PayPal account linked to the email in question. It was also said that any money that had been forwarded to the email will be refunded in a timely fashion.

Meanwhile, local Australian carriers advised the affected users to contact Apple so that they can regain access of their accounts as soon as possible. However, Cupertino has not issued an official statement on the matter yet.

Many iDevices across Australia locked up by hackers, ransom required for unlocking

source: Brisbane Times via The Verge

45 Comments
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posted on 27 May 2014, 09:38 6

1. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Windows FTW

posted on 27 May 2014, 09:39 4

3. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


What windows are you referring?

posted on 27 May 2014, 10:12 9

12. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 14984; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Yes viruses and trojans ftw

posted on 27 May 2014, 11:36

29. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Osx Halfbaked platform FTW

posted on 27 May 2014, 18:12

43. rgxVOiD (Posts: 440; Member since: 30 Aug 2012)


Yes if you're dumb enough to click the obvious

posted on 27 May 2014, 10:24 3

17. red_fox (unregistered)


Nope Ubuntu FTW

posted on 27 May 2014, 10:39 2

23. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Majority of people in all over the world use Windows operating system so I don't see in which way Ubuntu "FTW"...

posted on 27 May 2014, 10:30 4

19. TheMan (Posts: 493; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


This isn't an Apple vs The World issue. It's a user error problem. "One password to rule them all" is a lazy -- and risky -- practice too many of us follow.

posted on 27 May 2014, 10:32 1

20. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Interesting how many of Apple users will decide to pay for "Oleg Pliss". :D

posted on 27 May 2014, 11:51

31. Scott93274 (Posts: 5132; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


I find it interesting that this article makes it seem as though the only ones affected are in Australia. I wonder why that is...

posted on 27 May 2014, 15:34 3

39. tacarat (Posts: 787; Member since: 22 Apr 2013)


The Ars write up on this says the popular theory right now is DNS poisoning. Because of that, even entering "apple.com" manually would still take you to a hijacked page to capture data.

If true, then the reason the TFA folks didn't get affected was that they're not set up to take advantage of that small window when the codes are still valid. WoW players had to deal with this a long time ago. The fraudsters were VERY well set up and automated for those hacks to work.

posted on 27 May 2014, 23:32

44. TheMan (Posts: 493; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


And how many more would have ponied up with cash for "S. Jobs"

posted on 27 May 2014, 11:50 2

30. Scott93274 (Posts: 5132; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


This isn't so much of an issue with iOS, it's an issue with people being careless with their passwords. Odds are they probably had their passwords compromised when logging into various web pages using the many exploits in Internet Explorer. Microsoft's software is probably the least secure of any of the major software developers.

posted on 27 May 2014, 09:38 1

2. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Always Apple users getting problems and acident purposely being the victim

posted on 27 May 2014, 09:40 1

4. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


This has got to be one of the biggest bait articles I've seen in awhile.

posted on 27 May 2014, 09:48 11

5. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


What bait? Its a true story! The galaxy s5 camera bug article can be pointed as Bait due to the exaggeration, but this.... No.

posted on 27 May 2014, 16:07 1

40. flipjzn (Posts: 257; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)


http://www.phonearena.com/news/A-Spotify-user-falls-victim-to-hackers-a-security-update-to-be-pushed-as-a-result_id56549
This is a true story too. Only android is affected! Lol

posted on 28 May 2014, 00:10

45. DnB925Art (Posts: 1029; Member since: 23 May 2013)


But this only affects you if you use Spotify. I don't use Spotify, ergo, it doesn't affect me, or any other user who doesn't use Spotify.

posted on 27 May 2014, 09:49 1

6. jrod78414 (Posts: 102; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)


sayy what guess no one is immune

posted on 27 May 2014, 10:00 1

7. wilsong17 (unregistered)


in of matter of time that hacker are going to hack ios and know we can bash the ifan who said that apple is superior only superior cuz hacker didnt bother with it but know you see

posted on 27 May 2014, 10:04

9. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Soonyou will see the reular users posting or it might be there will be no sign of them. Hiding Away…

posted on 27 May 2014, 10:00 2

8. engineer-1701d (unregistered)


now hackers go after apple and stop going after the android and windows for once. so all the people that say android is easy hacked and scammed, will shut up and understand no one went after apple before because no much was on them of any importance now you see

posted on 27 May 2014, 10:36 2

22. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Apple is slow to patch things up...Windows is thecswiss cheese of OSes in the IT world. Android can be the most secure...CAN be...but not always...it is up to the users to use their devices in a secure and smart manner...

posted on 27 May 2014, 10:44

24. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


The swiss cheese...I meant

posted on 27 May 2014, 10:45

25. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


The swiss cheese...I meant

posted on 27 May 2014, 10:09 1

10. blackberry_Boy (Posts: 213; Member since: 27 May 2014)


Wow apple is always being hacked why????

posted on 27 May 2014, 10:09

11. Ninetysix (Posts: 2469; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Knowing someone else's password is a "hack" now.

posted on 27 May 2014, 10:13

13. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 14984; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Yes, it's not a hack when you use a common password or the same password throughout.

posted on 27 May 2014, 10:14

14. Ninetysix (Posts: 2469; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


No worries. The usual fandroids have already started to blame Apple for this...LOL.

posted on 27 May 2014, 12:09 1

33. shuaibhere (Posts: 1986; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


Well they have gone into apple servers and breached the data...that is a big hack...this shows close =/ secure....like you ifans always pretend to be...

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