2014 was an upsetting time for Australian iPhone owners as they found themselves in quite a situation. Their phones were being locked without their permission by unknown individuals who then demanded a certain sum of money and if you failed to comply they then threatened to wipe of all your data.
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A lot like a ransom situation. Turns out that we might be in the same exact situation right now as well but the location of the victims have changed. The new targets reside in either the US or Europe. When the incident occurred back in 2014 the cause for this less then honorable activity was identified as a breach within Apple due to which Apple ID’s and passwords became available online without the consent of owners.
Hackers were able to access the phone through Find My iPhone service and extort people. We are seeing something similar here with the infringement of the Mac-Forums.com database which has been identified as the cause for the affected iCloud log in credentials but this hasn’t been confirmed as of yet. The whole puzzle was put together by the CSO security blog Salted Hash.
In their own words the incident takes place as follows “It starts with a compromised Apple ID. From there, the attacker uses Find My iPhone and places the victim’s device into lost mode. At this point, they can lock the device, post a message to the lock screen and trigger a sound to play, drawing attention to it. In each of the cases reported publicly, the ransom demanded is usually $30 to $50.
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If a victim contacts the referenced email address, in addition to payment instructions, they’re told they have 12 hours to comply or their data will be deleted.” So it might be a good idea to re secure your Apple ID with a new password which should be long and complicated. Also the two step verification process seems like a smart move.