Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Apple IDs Compromised: iPhones, iPads, and Macs Ransomed

Apple IDs Compromised: iPhones, iPads, and Macs Locked, Held for Ransom

Many users in Australia and New Zealand have had their Apple IDs compromised. We are seeing reports on Apple’s support community and social networks that their Apple devices are being remotely locked and held for ransom by someone claiming to be Oleg Pliss, a software engineer at Oracle, who the attackers randomly chose to pin this attack on.

Figure 1. Locked iPhone ransom message

What happened to my Apple device?

Based on initial feedback, a number of Apple IDs have been compromised and used to lock iPhones, iPads, and Macs. It remains unclear exactly how the Apple IDs were compromised, but possible explanations include phishing attempts, weak passwords, or password reuse. A separate breach involving emails and passwords used to login to Apple and iCloud could have facilitated the compromise of the Apple IDs.

Once an Apple ID is compromised, attackers can access the Find My iPhone feature in iCloud. This feature is used to locate your devices if they have an internet connection and turn on the Lost Mode feature. Once Lost Mode is turned on, the attacker can remotely play a sound, lock the device, and display a ransom message.

Whatever you do, do NOT pay the ransom. There is no guarantee that the criminals responsible will unlock your device.

How to deal with a compromised Apple ID

While your devices have been locked, the root issue is the compromise of your Apple ID. First, you should login to your Apple ID accountand confirm that your password has not been changed. If it has not, you should immediately secure the account by changing your password. Once changed, make sure you login to your iCloud account and sign out of all browsers just to be safe.

How to deal with a locked device

If you had set a passcode on your device prior to the compromise, you can simply unlock it by inputting your passcode.

However, if you did not set a passcode on your device, then your phone will remain locked. This is because the attacker is required to set a passcode for your device when enabling the Lost Mode feature. In this scenario, you should call Apple support for further assistance. However, most users are reporting that the only option to recover the device is to wipe the device and restore it from a backup.

How to secure your Apple ID and devices

Even if this did not impact you directly, it is a good time to review and implement the following security measures to protect your Apple ID and devices.

1. Set a passcode on your phone or tablet. We cannot stress this one enough. Although it may be annoying to have to input a passcode to unlock your device, it is a basic security measure to prevent unauthorized physical access to your device. And in this case, it could save you the trouble of having to perform a factory reset on your device.

2. Use a strong, unique password for your Apple ID. If you need help creating a strong password, use a password generator and consider using a password manager, such as LastPass, 1Pass, KePass, or Norton Identity Safe.

3. Set up two step verification for your Apple ID. While it is labeled as an optional security feature, enabling two step verification will make it that much harder for an attacker to access your account without having physical access to your phone or other trusted device.

4. Back up your devices. In the event that you have to perform a factory reset, having a backup will ensure you do not lose your settings, messages, photos and documents.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Pre-Budget: Computer Emergency Response Team, Assemble!

John Key told the country's first ever Cyber Security Summit in Auckland that the government had earmarked funding set up a national Computer Emergency Response Team to help prevent and act on cyber incidents in partnership with the private sector and other organisations. More>>

ALSO:

Job Cutter Goes: Mark Weldon To Step Down As MediaWorks CEO

“When I joined MediaWorks in August 2014, I had a mandate to lead a significant change programme to bring the business back from receivership into a position where it could once again be a strong competitor in the market, with a sound and sustainable future. It was a big brief, laden with inherent challenges, but I took it in good faith and have dedicated myself fully to the goal since." More>>

ALSO:

Must Sell 20 Petrol Stations: Z Cleared To Buy Caltex Assets

Z Energy is allowed to buy the Caltex and Challenge! petrol station chains but must sell 19 of its retail sites and one truck-stop, the Commerce Commission has ruled in a split decision that acknowledges possible retail price coordination between fuel retailers occurs in some regions. More>>

ALSO:

Huntly: Genesis Extends Life Of Coal-Fuelled Power Station To 2022

Genesis Energy will keep its two coal and gas-fired units at Huntly Power Station operating until 2022, having previously said they'd be closed by 2018, after wringing a high price from other electricity generators who wanted to keep them as back-up. More>>

ALSO:

Dammed If You Do: Ruataniwha Irrigation Scheme Hits Farmer Uptake Targets

Enough Hawke's Bay farmers have signed up for water from the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for it to go ahead as long as a cornerstone institutional capital investor can be found to back it, its regional council promoter announced. More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: OCR Stays At 2.25%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2.25 percent, in a decision traders had said could go either way, while predicting inflation will pick up as the slump in oil prices washes out of the data and capacity pressures start to build in the economy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news