iPhone and iPad hijackers detained by authorities in Russia
Two young hackers who allegedly locked and held the iPhones and iPads of a number of Australian users to ransom have been detained in Russia.
According to Russian site MKRU, the Russian Interior Ministry arrested the two alleged hackers – aged just 17 and 23 – after being seen on CCTV withdrawing cash, believed to be ransom money, from an ATM.
MKRU says the 23-year old named Ivan was the mastermind behind the scam and was “madly keen on computers and hacking”.
The 17-year old was alleged to be Ivan’s accomplice and was detained in possession of PCs, SIM cards, phones and hacking literature.
The hackers have not been confirmed as the cyber criminals who held Australian iPhone and iPad users to ransom but may have been copy cats after Russian users were reporting the same problems.
The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs said it had “successfully stopped the activities of the group of persons involved in the blocking of Apple devices to extort funds”.
Australian users affected reported iPhones and iPads being locked after their Find My iPhone account was compromised.
This occurred after the hackers who obtained user names and passwords used these credentials on various Apple iCloud accounts.
A message would appear on the hijacked devices from Oleg Pliss demanding $100 to unlock the device.
Workarounds to retrieve control of hijacked iPads and iPhones have since been established.