• 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

  • News

    Juneau company purchases property for seawater heating plant

    by Associated Press on Dec 06, 9:00

    A waterfront property in downtown Juneau could change the way the city is heated. The Juneau Empire reports that Juneau Hydropower Inc. has entered an agreement with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority to buy a 2-acre lot of land in downtown Juneau. The $1.3 million deal isn’t finalized, but the Mental Health Trust’s board has […]

  • News

    APD: Anchorage teen missing for more than a month found safe

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 06, 7:58

    Police in Anchorage announced early Tuesday morning that 14-year-old Mary Rotzler was located by the Alaska State Troopers in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and is safe. The East High School freshman ran away from home on Nov. 1. Her mother told KTVA that Rotzler has a drug and alcohol addiction and was about to begin treatment — part of the […]

  • ‘That could have been my daughter’: Mother of teen murder suspect’s ex-girlfriend speaks out

    by Daniella Rivera on Dec 05, 23:22

    While the Valley community is trying to process the disturbing details of a Palmer teen’s murder, a mother who says her daughter dated the teen suspect is speaking out. Court documents released on Monday revealed the chilling details of 16-year-old David Grunwald’s murder, saying he was beaten, kidnapped, and walked into the woods before he […]

  • UPDATE: 3 wounded in Spenard shooting

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 05, 20:03

    Last updated at 8:56 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 5 The Anchorage Police Department is investigating a shooting that left at least one person injured. The shooting was reported at 7:30 p.m. on West 30th Avenue, according to APD spokeswoman Jennifer Castro. She said a male victim was transported to the hospital for emergency surgery following the […]

  • Schools help students heal after classmate’s murder

    by Shannon Ballard on Dec 05, 18:53

    It’s still nearly impossible to go anywhere in the Valley without seeing David Grunwald’s missing person flyers plastered to light poles and store windows. The 16-year-old’s body was discovered over the weekend. On Monday, his friends at Mat-Su Career and Technical High School returned to class for the first time after learning of Grunwald’s death. “This has […]

  • News

    M/V Susitna arrives in the Philippines

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 05, 16:53

    The Alaska ferry M/V Susitna arrived safely at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in the Philippines on Friday, according to local news sources. The vessel was sold by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) in June. PRC paid $1.75 million for the M/V Susitna, which cost around $80 million to build. According […]

  • News

    Juneau police investigate student’s alleged threats of school shooting

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 05, 16:51

    The Juneau Police Department says a threat was made against a local high school over the weekend, prompting the department to dispatch officers to area schools on Monday as a reassurance to the community. While no arrests have been made, Juneau police say they have identified and interviewed a 17-year-old Thunder Mountain High School student for […]

  • Police find stolen truck abandoned after owner shot at alleged thieves

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 05, 15:42

    Updated at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6 Police in Anchorage have located a stolen truck that was damaged during a shooting involving its owner and two alleged thieves. The Anchorage Police Department issued a statement Tuesday morning that a maroon 1999 GMC pickup, reported stolen on Dec. 2, was found by police last night near East 20th […]