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Some Australian Apple device owners were shocked after they woke up not to the jingle of a ransom notification instead. According to the reports, a hacker with the name “Oleg Pliss” systematically froze iPhone, iPad and Mac users out of their own devices, holding them hostage until payments of between $50 and $100 were received. Threads on Apple’s official support forums detail how the attacker used Apple’s own Find My iPhone feature to remotely lock devices and send messages requiring payment via PayPal. Those had passcodes were able to regain access but those without the security measure weren’t so lucky.
Apple has had to work directly with those affected to fix the issue as overcoming a lock isn’t an easy process, meaning. While the attack has been limited to Australia for the most part, Apple device owners in New Zealand and the UK have also reported similar problems. It’s generally believed that the device locks could be down to users recycling the same passwords captured in other internet breaches. The exact cause is yet to be ascertained. If you’re also worried you could be also be affected, than it’s considered good security practice to use a unique password, enable two-factor authentication and set passcodes on all of your devices.