Mac, iPhone, and iPad owners across Australia are reporting that their devices have been digitally held hostage by a hacker, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
The hacker, who goes by the name Oleg Pliss, is using Apple’s Find My iPhone feature to remotely lock down iOS and Mac devices.
Pliss then demands that owners send payments through PayPal to regain control of their gadgets, according to the report, which was first spotted by 9to5Mac.
The ransom payments have ranged between $US50 and $US100, and the hacker demanded that these payments be directed to the email address [email protected]
Australian iOS and Mac users have discussed the issue via Twitter and Apple’s own support forums.
One iPhone 5 owner in Melbourne, Australia with the username veritylikestea wrote that his or her iPhone and iPad had been remotely locked. After the iPad had suddenly “locked itself,” the user found a message on his or her phone saying that both devices had been hacked by Oleg Pliss, and that the hacker had demanded $US100.
The hacker is likely a pseudonym meant to cover his or her true identity. As The Sydney Morning Herald reports, the real Oleg Pliss is a software engineer for Oracle.
Those affected by the hack are being advised to contact Apple directly to regain control of their devices.
There’s no sign of the hacker impacting Apple users outside of Australia at this time. Apple allows users to set up two-factor authentication on their devices to avoid situations like this, which prompts you to provide another level of verification before allowing access to an iCloud account.
We’ve reached out to Apple and PayPal for comment and will update the article accordingly.
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