Russian Authorities Detain Hackers Suspected of Hijacking iDevices

Two hackers suspected of locking iOS devices for ransom have been detained by Russian authorities, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. The hackers, aged 17 and 23, both residents of the Southern Administrative District of Moscow, were caught by CCTV in their attempt to withdraw victims’ ransom money from an ATM.

Australian hack

According to the Russian media outlet, the 23-year-old “Ivan” was “madly keen on computers and hacking” and was always looking for easy ways to make money.

According to Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, the suspects gave a confession, but as of the writing of this article, it is unclear whether these two are the ones behind the “Oleg Pliss” hack that remotely locked the iOS/Mac devices of users from Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada and asked for ransom.

As it turns out, the hackers were using two schemes to get access to a user’s Apple ID.

“The first was to gain access to the Apple ID of a victim’s account by creating phishing pages, [gaining] unauthorised access to email, or using social engineering techniques,” Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said. “The second scheme was aimed at binding … devices to a pre-arranged account.”

You may recall that earlier last month we reported about hijacked iOS devices in Australia. Shortly after that, Apple issued a short statement saying that iCloud’s servers weren’t affected.

If you haven’t done it already, you may want to enable two-step verification and/or change the password of your Apple ID.