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iPhones hackers now holding devices for ransom through Find My Phone


News by Andrew Kameka on Tuesday May 27, 2014.

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A number of people are reporting that their iPhones and iPads have been compromised by a hacker or group of hackers who have maliciously triggered Apple's anti-theft phone tracking feature and are refusing to relinquish control until users send money. The problem appears to be concentrated in Australia, where several users have taken to Twitter and Apple support forums to complain of receiving messages that state "Device hacked by Oleg Pliss." The messages prevent access to the phone and then say that $50 payment to a PayPal account is required to have the device unlocked.

The hack is a curious intrusion because, according to a statement issued by PayPal to The Age, there is no PayPal account associated with the email address that hackers demand victims send payment. It's also unclear why the issue seems to be concentrated only in Australia. It's possible an email and password database servicing that region has been compromised and hackers are checking Apple ID credentials to gain access to the affected accounts.

Australian service providers are unable to fix the problem and affected users are told to contact Apple. It appears that users with a passcode on the lock screen or two-step authentication are able to avoid this problem, so it may be a good idea to add to the lock screen and setup authentication where possible.

source: The Age, via: The Verge

 
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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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