Apple Says iCloud Not Hacked in Recent Australian iPhone Ransom Incidents

iOS Ransom Hack

Yesterday, we told you about the iOS and OS X users in Australia who reported being locked out of their devices due to a hacker who asked for a ransom in exchange for relinquishing control. Today, Apple released an official statement regarding the incident, stating that iCloud was not compromised and users should change their Apple ID password.

The full statement reads:

“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 user name and password for multiple services. Any users who need additional help can contact AppleCare or visit their local Apple Retail Store.”

ZDNet notes that it is assumed that the hacker or hackers gained access to users’ Apple ID credentials and, using Find My iPhone, have locked victims’ devices so they are unable to control the functions.

A support thread in the Apple forums stretches 23 pages long and is full of theories and ideas for how to track down the offending hackers. However, no one has been able to identify the iOS kidnapper.

One forum poster was able to explain what to do if your iOS device has been locked. If you find yourself with a message on your iPad that requests payment in exchange for the release of control of your device, try the following instructions from Apple community forum poster “georz”:

I had the same problem originally. This is what I was told to do (and did) over the phone with applecare support.

Turn off your phone.

Plug your cable into the computer and have itunes up (do not plug into the phone yet).

Press and hold the home key on your off phone (I did mine for about 10 seconds). If nothing happens, plug in the cable into your phone (keep holding the home key)

What you want to see come up is the picture of itunes and cable on the front of the phone.

Your itunes should then recognise the phone as an unidentified phone

Select restore factory settings (it should down load some software) ~15 mins and automatically install.

The phone should go through some of the standard reset screens (usually black screen with apple icon and loading bar).

You will be prompted to restore the phone…. do this from itunes not the phone.

Throughout this process you must not let the phone or computer go into sleep mode…. and don’t disconnect.

I had the same issue with the lock screen but it was related to sim card once I did the restore. 

I had to set the erase from icloud website, but that didn’t originally work as it requires connection to the Internet for it to apply, hence plugging it into the computer. 

I accidentally started setting up my phone via the phone and got stuck on the sim card lock screen so had to do it from scratch again and this time via itunes and all good. Hope that helps.

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik