AppleRansomThe same type of Ransomware that first appeared on Windows based systems has now made its way to Apple devices.  The ransom based cyber-attack first began in Australia but has now been spotted in other parts of the world, including California.  The Apple Ransomware creates an impassible splash screen on a user’s device and demands a $100 ransom before the user is able to regain access.

Devices affected by the Ransomware are rendered inoperable and in most cases, require a full system reset to be recovered.  Unfortunately, a device reset will also delete all information contained on the phone, iPad or other Apple device.  Compromised devices typically emit a loud and obnoxious tone to encourage a user to give into the ransom demands.  iPhones and iPads also display the message:

“Device hacked by Oleg Pliss. For unlock device, you need send voucher code by 100 usd/eur (Moneypack/Ukash/PaySafeCard) to email:lock404@hotmail.com for unlock.”

While this particular piece of malware demands a ransom, you should in no way believe that paying the ransom will recover your compromised device.  As has been shown by similar scams on PC, Ransomware is usually irreversible and giving into the demands will only allow the malware to become more successful.

Currently, it is believed that the hack is made possible when users choose not to set passcodes for their devices.  This allows the hacker to use the “Find My iPhone” function to remotely lock the device.  Users are advised to use long, mixed symbol passwords for their devices that are different from their iCloud accounts.  Apple has also recommended that users turn on two-factor authentication and consider changing their iCloud passwords, even if they have not been affected by the Ransomware.

If your device has been compromised by the attack, it is recommended that you perform a manual reset or bring the device into your local Apple store to be reset to its factory default.  However, keep in mind that doing so will remove all of your saved data from the device.  For anyone who hasn’t been affected, this should serve as a warning and a reminder to frequently backup your important data.

– Richard Keene
IT Computer Support of New York
Webmaster and Lead Designer