Australian iPhone Users Hacked via Find My iPhone Feature

Apple iPhone Hack

Considering that one of the biggest reasons for needing a new phone is that you lost your last one, the Find My iPhone feature on Apple’s mobile device is incredibly useful, letting you locate your fruit-branded gadget in a pinch. But what happens when you’re faced with more problems than just finding your iPhone? When the app that was set to keep you updated on your phone’s whereabouts ends up rendering the device unusable? Unfortunately for some iPhone users in Australia, that’s exactly what happened.

Earlier this week, many iPhone users in the land down under found themselves met with a threat and a ransom note from a hacker (although given the scope of the hacks, it could have been a team) named ‘Oleg Pliss’. At Pliss’ command, the iPhone, Mac and iPad devices that belonged to many Australian citizens were locked, with access unable to be gained due to a ‘ransom note’ being in the way. The only way to remove said ransom note? By coughing up some funds to Oleg Pliss in either $50 or $100 forms. It’s likely that Oleg Pliss was able to do this by using Find My iPhone’s built in lock feature which allows the legitimate owners of Apple devices to lock them and send a message that requires payment via PayPal (thus paving the way for Oleg Pliss’ hostage framework).

Furthermore, Apple don’t believe that the problem was their fault. Due to the nature of the hack, Apple of course checked the security of their servers, to find that Oleg Pliss hadn’t rooted their way in there. The culprit, it seems, is easily guessable passwords with hacks of other sites leading to Find My iPhone hacks too if the user was using the same password for both. It’s not just Australian iPhone users who have been hacked either, with New Zealand and UK users also experiencing problems though despite the internationality of it all, hacks like this can reportedly be defended against if you put a passcode on the device itself (i.e the one that you type in after you ‘slide to unlock) as locks can’t be changed on phones that already have them.

We’ll keep you posted once we know more.

Via 9to5Mac.

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