A new wave of ransomware is specifically targeting Apple devices.
iPad, iPhone and Mac owners in parts of Australia are reporting that their devices are being held hostage. On their phones, tablets, and Macs, they are seeing messages on the screens demanding $50 to $100 to gain access to their gadgets.
If you don't pay the ransom, you don't gain access to your device. There is a work-around. But first, how did the bad guys get in?
Time Magazine is reporting that it appears that whoever’s behind this has gotten ahold of people’s iCloud usernames and passwords, then used the Find My iPhone feature to remotely lock devices, demanding payment in order to unlock them. Now, that's pretty clever.
One iPhone user, a Fairfax Media employee in Sydney, said she was awoken at 4 a.m. on Tuesday to a loud "lost phone" message that said "Oleg Pliss" had hacked her phone. She was instructed to send $50 to a PayPal account to have it unlocked.
If you have a passcode on your device, you will be able to unlock it after the hacker has sent you the message demanding payment. Ignore the hacker's message and simply enter your 4-digit PIN.
Those who had not set a passcode are unable to access their device. Your best bet is to bring your phone, tablet or Mac down to the Apple store and ask them for help.
It's just a matter of time before this attack spreads beyond Australia.
What should you do?
Set up passcodes on your devices. Change your iCloud password too.
For your Mac, read this tip that shows you how protect from snoops.
You need security programs on your phone or tablet. Click here for the 5 best apps to secure your tablet or phone.