Apple’s Find My iPhone service is a security feature introduced in iPhone devices. It’s meant to help the owner locate a stolen or lost iPhone, but it seems that the feature has turned out to be a double edged sword. According to a report from the Sydney Morning Herald from Australia, some Australian Mac, iPhone, and iPad owners have found themselves locked out from their own devices.
As you can see in the image above, owners have found themselves hacked by a person (or group) calling themselves Oleg Pliss. The hackers have since demanded payments of anywhere between $50-$100 that will be transferred to an anonymous PayPal account as a form of ransom in order to get their phones unlocked. Given that it devices locked across the board, there is a chance that the hacker(s) managed to gain access to their iCloud accounts.
The good news is that those who set passcodes for their devices were not affected by this hack, simply because Find My iPhone only allows a passcode to be set on devices that do not have one already. Unfortunately for those who have been affected, the only way to get around this is to go to Apple and seek help directly, which is what local telcos have and are advising their customers.
We should point out that once you have been granted access, you might want to set a passcode and reset your Apple ID security questions and passwords ASAP, lest it happens to you twice in a row. In the meantime for those lucky enough to have iOS devices without passcodes and who have yet to be hacked, well now’s as good a time as any to start securing your devices!