A number of iOS devices are being held ransom by the Russian “Oleg Pliss” who is demanding a payment of $100 to unlock the device.
Basically the hijack is being done using stolen iCloud passwords and the “locate device” feature to lock the device and display a message to the affected user.
Now how the passwords got out is something Apple is pointing fingers to the latest LinkedIn data leak or blaming it on users affected by phishing attacks. Getting past all the finger pointing and “he started it!” accusations, estimates are suggesting 40 million devices in the United States,Europe and Australia have been affected. But sources also suggest that these numbers may be blown out of proportions, but to have put such an attack on the radar a good hundred thousand victims would have been affected.
This not a new type of scam and since last February similar scams have been affecting the Apple’s line of devices.
The attack normally happens when the actor uses your iCloud password to locate and trigger the “locate device” feature and hence can display a message and cause your device to make sounds to grab your attention. The message normally tells the victim to order the password by mailing to the given e-mail address.
Most of the passwords come from numerous data breaches that occurred over the time, including iMesh , VK.comMySpace, , Badoo.com, HotScripts.com, Mac-Forums.com and phishing attacks.
The Mac-Forums leaked database is available for approximately $755 while HotScripts has a database selling for $1900.
Apple has issued support for users and there are suggestions to use a unique password only for the Apple ID as well as two-factor authentication and two-step verification process.
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.