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

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.


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.


source: Brisbane Times via The Verge

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45 Comments

1. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Windows FTW

3. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

What windows are you referring?

12. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Yes viruses and trojans ftw

29. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Osx Halfbaked platform FTW

43. rgxVOiD

Posts: 440; Member since: Aug 30, 2012

Yes if you're dumb enough to click the obvious

17. red_fox unregistered

Nope Ubuntu FTW

23. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

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

19. TheMan

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 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.

20. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

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

31. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 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...

39. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 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.

44. TheMan

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

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

30. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 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.

2. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Always Apple users getting problems and acident purposely being the victim

4. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

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

5. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 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.

40. flipjzn

Posts: 257; Member since: Jun 22, 2012

45. DnB925Art

Posts: 1168; Member since: May 23, 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.

6. jrod78414

Posts: 102; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

sayy what guess no one is immune

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

9. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

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

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

22. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 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...

24. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

The swiss cheese...I meant

25. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

The swiss cheese...I meant

10. blackberry_Boy

Posts: 213; Member since: May 27, 2014

Wow apple is always being hacked why????

11. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

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

13. Mxyzptlk unregistered

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

14. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

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

33. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 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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