Apple’s Find My iPhone feature is one of the most important features of the company’s security, having the ability to find, lock and even erase and iPhone, iPad, iPod or Mac’s data in case it is stolen or lost. However, what would happen if it would somehow got ‘hijacked’? Some Apple users from Australia might have an idea on that now since their devices were hijacked by a hacker or a group of hackers.
The hacker (or group of hackers), no details confirming the number or identity has been officially confirmed, locked the devices using Apple’s own Find My iPhone feature and held them for ransom having set a PayPal account to transfer the money in order to regain access to the devices.
What is known about the individual(s) is that he/they go by the name of “Oleg Pliss”. The ransom amount varied from $50 to $100 and the instructions were quite clear, to transfer the named amount of money to the PayPal account displayed in the message. Fortunately, users who have set a passcode on their accounts were able to regain access to it quickly due to the fact that nobody can add or change a passcode on a device that already has one.
Less fortunate users however had to deal directly with Apple Support and solve their hijacking problems. The reports indicate that the incident occurred only in Australia, though there are some reports indicating similar issues in New Zealand and the UK.
The exact method of hacking has not yet been confirmed, though it is believed that it has something to do with users recycling the same passwords captured in other internet breaches.
Either way, Apple users have been recommended to change their passwords to a more unique combination or even enable the two-factor authentication and set passcodes on all of their devices.