• 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

  • DayBreak

    Mic Check in the Morning: Keith Anderson

    by Daybreak Staff on Mar 30, 11:47

    Keith Anderson is a gold record-selling country artist. He was nominated for a Grammy and Academy of Country Music award for co-writing “Beer Run (B Double E Double Are You In?)” for Garth Brooks and George Jones. Anderson will be touring in Alaska for the next three days — March 30 – April 1. Thursday […]

  • APD: Armed suspect taken into custody after reportedly threatening wife

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 30, 10:37

    Last updated at 10:58 a.m. on Thursday, Mar. 30 Anchorage police officers, negotiators and SWAT team members responded to a report of an armed man who barricaded himself inside an East Anchorage home Thursday shortly after 6 a.m. Jamie Lee Jacko, 41, walked out of the house and was taken into custody at 10:25 a.m., according […]

  • Spring is an ideal time for Nordic skiing in Anchorage

    by Rachael Penton on Mar 30, 10:18

    With warming temperatures in the forecast this week, skiing may not be the first outdoor activity that comes to mind. However, mild spring temperatures actually make for great skiing conditions-especially for skate skiers. “When you’re pushing down on the ski you’re actually creating this thin layer of water and that’s how you glide at all. […]

  • Sports

    Grace Christian coach, players discuss 3A championship

    by Dave Goldman on Mar 30, 9:18

    After a decade and half of waiting, the Grace Christian Grizzlies basketball team will be hang another 3A title banner from the rafters after taking the crown last weekend. Head Coach Jason Boerger along with a pair of his players paid a visit to KTVA on Wednesday. Watch the entire interview.

  • Lifestyle

    Providence offers free colon cancer screening kits

    by Lauren Maxwell on Mar 29, 22:09

    When it comes to treating colon cancer, early detection can be a lifesaver. Providence Alaska Medical Center is pushing to get more adults screened for the disease that’s considered the number two cause of cancer death in the country. On Thursday and Friday, Providence is giving out free screening kits for colon cancer. “We want […]

  • News

    $1 million in grant money available for social justice projects

    by Joe Vigil on Mar 29, 22:08

    From immigration issues to racial equality across Alaska, groups can now access a total of $1 million for grants to create awareness about social justice issues. The Alaska Community Foundation announced the project on Wednesday. Nina Kemppel, the CEO and president of the foundation, said the gift comes from John Rubini and Clare Bertucio and that the Alaska […]

  • News

    Preparing Alaskans for the next tsunami one community at a time

    by Melissa Frey on Mar 29, 20:10

    There are about 75 communities in Alaska at risk of a tsunami and only about a third of those are fully prepared for the real event, according to experts. Coastal regions of Alaska have the most serious tsunami risk in the United States. Over 100,000 people have been identified as living in a community at […]

  • Politics

    Debate over same-sex bathrooms continues with new petition

    by Lauren Maxwell on Mar 29, 20:07

    A group that wants to change the city’s equal rights ordinance is giving it another try. In January, the Municipal Attorney’s office rejected a ballot initiative from the group Protect Our Privacy that wanted to make changes to an ordinance passed by the Anchorage Assembly in 2015. At the time, the office concluded the petition […]