• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 22s

Cyberattack that locked Apple devices in Australia reaches U.S.

By CBS News 8:51 AM May 28, 2014

First came reports of a widespread hack of Apple devices in Australia – the attacker locked the devices remotely and demanded ransom from the owners. Now, CBS Los Angeles reports the scam appears to have reached the U.S.

Earlier this week, many Australian owners of Apple devices began discovering that their iPhones, iPads and Macs had been hacked by someone using the name Oleg Pliss. They were directed to a PayPal account and told to send money to have them unlocked, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

A majority of victims affected by the hack so far appear to be from Australia, according to an Apple support thread, but there were also owners affected in New Zealand, the U.S. and Canada. One Australian user commented that they had been in London when the threatening message appeared.

“I’m in the U.S. Never been to Australia. Hacked last night by the Oleg Pliss nonsense. Currently restoring to try and get back online,” wrote user wheelman2188.

The hacker is reportedly targeting Apple products that do not have passcodes — allowing for them to use the “Find My iPhone” function to remotely lock the devices.

“I thought it was a joke, and I was like ‘Yeah yeah, whatever’, and went to open my phone, and nothing,” Southern California victim Nathan Sohm told CBS Los Angeles. “The whole reason I got into Apple was to prevent hacks and viruses. And here it is being hacked,” he added.

Just like their Australian counterparts, American victims of the hack are being advised to bring in their locked device to an Apple store to be reset. However, this will cause the user to lose everything stored on the device, an employee from a California Apple store told CBS Los Angeles.

On Wednesday, an Apple representative told ZDNET that iCloud was not compromised, and urged users to change their Apple passwords.

“Apple takes security very seriously and iCloud was not compromised during this incident. Impacted users should change their Apple ID password as soon as possible and avoid using the same username and password for multiple services,” the company said in a statement.

The cyber attack happened just as Apple is preparing for its annual Worldwide Developers Conference next week. The company reportedly has plans to unveil a new “smart home” control system at the conference.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Latest Stories

  • Politics

    AKLeg: Education funding a sticking point in budget negotiations

    by Associated Press on Apr 20, 22:59

    The Alaska House took up amendments to the state capital budget but held off a vote late Monday. The capital budget is typically one of the last items in play during the legislative session. It was pushed to Tuesday’s calendar. Talks were under way on the operating budget, another piece of the state’s overall spending […]

  • Sports

    Service braves the cold, burns Grace Christian 6-0

    by KTVA Sports on Apr 20, 22:54

    On a day that saw multiple game cancelations due to poor weather, Service High School and Grace Christian decided to tough it out Monday evening. The clouds broke wide open and so did the score early on as the Cougars cruised to the 6-0 victory. “Extremities kind of losing the feeling, it’s hard to get […]

  • News

    NTSB releases initial report on fatal plane crash in Prince William Sound

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Apr 20, 15:18

    The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report on a plane crash that claimed the life of a 53-year-old Wasilla man on April 14. The search for a missing Cessna 180 and its pilot, Dale Carlson, ended with the discovery of Carlson’s body by Alaska State Troopers on the shore of Culross Island on April […]

  • News

    RACE RESULTS: 53 Alaskans start 2015 Boston Marathon

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Apr 20, 15:05

    More than 50 Alaskans crossed the start line of the Boston Marathon early Monday morning, and several have already finished, according to the race’s website. Of those that started the 26.2 mile long race, 53 were from Alaska. The majority of Alaska runners claimed Anchorage as their home, but runners came from all around the […]

  • News

    Missing wedding ring plucked from dog doo, returned to owner

    by Associated Press on Apr 20, 14:09

    An Alaska woman suspected her family’s dog snatched her wedding ring, but she couldn’t find proof – until the platinum band turned up months later at a ball field. The Daily Sitka Sentinel newspaper reports Nikki Balovich lost her ring in January, when she was pregnant and often took it off her swollen finger. The Sitka woman […]

  • Politics

    Senate considers new committee on federal issues

    by Associated Press on Apr 20, 12:31

    Alaska’s Senate is poised to consider creating a special committee to address federal overreach. A resolution from the Senate Rules Committee would create a Senate Special Committee on Federal Overreach. The resolution calls for the new committee to submit reports to the Senate in January 2016 and 2017 about how to use state authority to […]

  • News

    Mat-Su Valley gathers to help end domestic violence and sexual abuse

    by Dave Leval on Apr 20, 11:55

    Cynthia Wagoner will be the first to admit she did not have an easy life as a child. “I have been raised in both my families where domestic violence and sexual abuse were prevalent,” Wagoner explained, saying the problems did not end there. “My older brother was charged with sexually abusing both of my younger […]

  • Lifestyle

    NOAA proposes take most humpbacks whales off endangered list

    by Associated Press on Apr 20, 11:26

    The federal government is proposing removing most of the world’s humpback whale population from the endangered species list. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries wants to reclassify humpbacks into 14 distinct populations, and remove 10 of those from the list. The federal agency said in a release announcing its proposal that protection and restoration efforts […]