Mass Cyber Attack Locking, Holding Apple Devices Ransom Reaches Southern California
VICTORVILLE (CBSLA.com) — A global cyber attack, in which a hacker is targeting and locking iPad, iPhone and other Mac devices, and sending out a ransom message to the afflicted, has reportedly reached the Southland.
The devices are reportedly targeted, attacked, and are ultimately locked by the hacker, using the name Oleg Pliss.
It is unclear how many people have been exposed to the hacking.
Reports began abroad of a text message, reaching users of the attacked iPhones, iPads, and other Mac devices overseas, and demanding $100 be sent to a PayPal account in exchange for unlocking their device.
Now, the attack seems to have reached Southern California.
“I thought it was a joke, and I was like ‘Yeah yeah, whatever’, and went to open my phone, and nothing,” Victorville resident Nathan Sohm said.
The majority of attacked phones are reported to be in Australia, but according to Apple’s support thread, a number of victims are from the United States.
“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,” one user wrote.
The hack is reported to be using the ‘Find My iPhone’ feature to remotely lock the devices.
“The whole reason I got into Apple was to prevent hacks and viruses,” Sohm said. “And here it is being hacked.”
CBS2 asked a Rancho Cucamonga Apple store employee about how to fix the problem. Users who have experienced the cyber attack are advised to bring the locked phone in for your phone to be restored. However, unlocking the device will cause the user to lose everything from music to contacts if the phone has not already been backed up.
Sohm, meanwhile, has one piece of advise for fellow Apple users.
“Back up your devices. Do it now.”