Customers in Australia are seeing their phones held hostage by “Oleg Pliss”
So far, “Oleg Pliss” ransomware reports have only been recorded in Australia, but there’s no telling what these hackers are up to. For all you know, your iPhone could be next. To avoid having cybercrooks keeping your Apple ID hostage, here are a few best practices as well as a few ways to regain control of a locked device.Reports are breaking out that a hacker going by the name of Oleg Pliss has begun taking iDevices and Macs hostage through a ransomware scheme that locks said devices and displays an alert stating “Device hacked by Oleg Pliss.” To have it unlocked, the user is told to send $100/€100 to an anonymous PayPal account.
Oleg Pliss undoubtedly is a fake name used by the hacker. A real Oleg Pliss works at Oracle as a software engineer, while another is listed on LinkedIn as a banking professional in Ukraine. Neither would be so dumb as to expose themselves like that, even if they were behind the scheme.
So far, only a few Australian users have been targeted. Affected locations include Queensland, NSW, Western Australia, South Australia, and Victoria. But there’s no telling what the hackers behind this ransomware will do next. They could be spreading their attacks across the US, Europe, and/or Asia as you are reading these lines.
First off, here’s how you can prevent falling into the trap.
1. Set a passcode lock immediately. This way, any hacker who obtains your Apple ID credentials will also have to bypass the lock to hold your iDevice hostage. Even if the ransomware is displayed, users with passcode locks can still use their phones after the attack.
2. Consider changing your password and / or using two-factor authentication. Apple explains it all in KB article ht5570. Needless to point out, if you’ve been hit by the ransomware, changing the password is a must.
Now for those of you who might be affected. Here’s how to regain control of your device.