recommended reading

Threatwatch

iPhones and iPads in Australia remotely held hostage by attackers

User accounts compromised

The attackers are demanding PayPal payments from owners of Apple devices, including Macs, before they will relinquish control.

One security specialist speculated that the hackers were using compromised login credentials from recent data breaches to access accounts and lock users out.

One iPhone user said she was awoken at 4am on 5/20 to a loud "lost phone" message that said "Oleg Pliss" had hacked her phone, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. She was instructed to send $50 to a PayPal account to have it unlocked.

Victims have been discussing the issue on Twitter and Apple's own support forum.

Owners who use a passcode on their device appear to be able to unlock it after the hacker has sent the ransom note, but those who don’t are unable to, according to the newspaper.

Dozens of others across the country reported similar early morning messages.

"I went to check my phone and there was a message on the screen ... saying that my device(s) had been hacked by 'Oleg Pliss' and he/she/they demanded $100 USD/EUR (sent by Paypal to lock404@hotmail.com) to return them to me. I have no idea how this has happened."

Some victims with iPhones say they have been calling Telstra, Vodafone and Optus to try to fix the issue.

"Vodafone kept saying 'iPhone can't be hacked,' "one Apple user, "Shleighbo", wrote.

"Rang Telstra and they said it is an Apple issue," another, "georgie81", said.

"The Optus tech support was not helpful," said yet another user, "Bettybam".

A Telstra spokesman said the telco was aware of the reports and had referred the matter to Apple.

"In the meantime customers who need assistance can contact Apple Care," the Telstra spokesman said.

ThreatWatch is a regularly updated catalog of data breaches successfully striking every sector of the globe, as reported by journalists, researchers and the victims themselves. 

sector

Technology

reported

May 27, 2014

reported by

The Sydney Morning Herald

number affected

Unknown

location of breach

Unknown

perpetrators

Criminals

location of perpetrators

Unknown

date breach occurred

Unknown

date breach detected

Mid-May 2014

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.