News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
You are here: Home / Wireless Security / Australian Apple Devices Hit for Ransom
Gartner's #1 for endpoint backup
Apple Devices in Australia Locked, Held for Ransom
Apple Devices in Australia Locked, Held for Ransom
By Barry Levine / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
MAY
27
2014



There's been a mass kidnapping of Apple devices in the Land Down Under. No, really.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald and other sources in the country, owners of iPads, iPhones and Macs in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and Victor have received messages that they have to pay a PayPal account if they want their devices unlocked.

Similar reports have been flowing into Apple's support forums.

'Locked Itself'

On Sunday, for instance, a user called veritylikestea in Melbourne wrote, "I was using my ipad a short while ago when suddenly it locked itself." At the same time, a message on the user's phone -- not clear if it was an iPhone -- said the devices "had been hacked by 'Oleg Pliss' and she/she/they demanded $100 USD/EUR" be sent to an account at PayPal. A PayPal spokesperson has said that any payments sent as ransom to one of its accounts will be refunded.

The user added that "I did recently purchase some new apps -- perhaps one of these has something to do with it."

Other users have also reported that the name Oleg Pliss was used. The Herald reported that an Oleg Pliss is a software engineer at Oracle, another is a banking professional in Ukraine, and there are still others listed in Russia.

Other Australian users on the Apple support forum report similar problems and there have been similar tweets on Twitter. One user, Casey Maree, said she was "woken up at 2 am by hacked 'Find My iPhone' asking for money."

iCloud Hack?

The Herald said there were "dozens" of such incidents across Australia. Several have reported that it appears their iCloud accounts and "Find My iPhone" functionality were hacked to create this lockout. The Find My iPhone feature allows an account owner to remotely lock a device, such as when it is lost or stolen.

Reportedly, those with a passcode set on their device can still unlock it, while those without one could not. Those non-passcoders can, however, restore the device to its last backup point, but all data since that backup will be lost. Apple has instructions on how to use Recovery Mode on a device. Users may also want to bring their device to the nearest Apple store, with ID to prove they have a right to unlock it.

Apple has not yet commented on the reports.

Time magazine said some of the reports of owners being locked out, with demands for $50 or $100, have begun surfacing from some users in New Zealand, as well as travelers in and out of Australia and at least one person in the U.S. with no apparent ties to Australia.

Some are speculating that iCloud was hacked by account log-ons obtained in a phishing scheme, or through a compromised Internet service provider, which might explain why the attack is aimed almost entirely at Australian users. However, more than one ISP has been serving the victims.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY BE OF INTEREST
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there's a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know by accessing the white paper, "5 Things You Didn't Know About Cloud Backup". Access the White Paper now.
MORE IN WIRELESS SECURITY
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Dairy Queen Latest Retailer To Report Hack
Dairy Queen is known for its hot fries and sweet treats, but it just made cyber history as the latest victim of a hack attack. The fast food chain said that customer data at some stores may be at risk.
 
Lessons from the JPMorgan Chase Cyberattack
JPMorgan Chase is investigating a likely cyberattack. The banking giant is cooperating with law enforcement, including the FBI, to understand what data hackers may have obtained.
 
Who Is the Hacker Group Lizard Squad?
Are they dangerous or just obnoxious? That’s what many are wondering about the hacker group Lizard Squad, which tweeted out a bomb threat that grounded a flight with a Sony exec aboard.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Intel Intros Lightning-Fast PC Processors
Call it extreme. Intel just took the covers off its first-ever eight-core desktop processor, which is aimed at hardcore power users who expect more than the status quo from their computers.
 
HP Previews ProLiant Gen9 Data Center Servers
Because traditional data center and server architectures are “constraints” on businesses, HP is releasing new servers aimed at faster, simpler and more cost-effective delivery of computing services.
 
Apple Set To Release Largest iPad Ever
Tech giant Apple seems to have adopted the mantra “go big or go home.” The company is planning to introduce its largest iPad ever: a 12.9-inch behemoth that will dwarf its largest existing models.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Samsung Maps Its Way with Nokia's 'Here' App for Galaxy Phones
Korean electronics giant Samsung has opted to license Here, Nokia’s mapping app -- formerly known as Nokia Maps -- for its Tizen-powered smart devices and Samsung Gear S wearable.
 
Google Successfully Tests Its Own Delivery Drone
While top technology companies are engaged in an "arms race" to develop drones that can quickly deliver goods to anyone anywhere, Google has revealed it successfully tested its own version.
 
Will iPhone Finally Catch Up with NFC Mobile Payment Ability?
Apple's latest version of the iPhone may have a mobile wallet to pay for purchases with a tap of the phone. The iPhone 6 reportedly is equipped with near-field communication (NFC) technology.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.