3AW - Fairfax Radio Network

What we're talking about

Australian Apple devices hacked

Posted by: Mark Davidson | 27 May, 2014 - 3:01 PM

Australian users of Apple technology have had their devices hijacked by hackers who are then demanding a ransom to unlock their products.

Some owners of iPhones, iPads and Mac computers have reported receiving a pop-up message alerting them to seizure of their devices.

Former Victoria Police superintendent Tony Warren told 3AW Drive he was startled in the middle of the night by the hackers infiltrating his iPad.

"About 1am this morning I was nicely awoken by a fairly loud alarm going on my iPad," Mr Warren told Tom Elliott.

"I got it and switched it on to see what was going on and when I opened it up - I have a code to open it - the alarm went off.

"No sooner had that stopped than an alarm went off on my iPhone, and then my wife's iPhone, and then my wife's iPad. So all four were going off.

"Basically the message was that I had been hacked by Oleg Pliss, was the name given, to contact him on a telephone number... and pay $50 to unlock my iPhone and iPad."

LISTEN IN FULL: Tony Warren tells Tom Elliott how his devices were hacked

LISTEN IN FULL: Trevor Long tells 3AW Drive what people can do to fix the problem

Trevor Long from YourTechLife.com said these hacks are a serious threat to personal security but has no doubt Apple will swiftly fix the problem.

"Clearly someone has obtained the user names, i.e email addresses, and passwords of individuals.

"This will be a group of people, and it will be spreading now because people who have that information... will start this scam themselves."

Mr Long said Apple users should promptly change their password to prevent this happening to them.

IT security expert Troy Hunt told Denis Walter it is unclear how the hackers are gaining access to the Apple products but the cases appear to be isolated to Australia.

"The news that we're seeing, and this is really only in the last 24 hours, seems to be centralised around Australia," he said.

"I guess what's odd about that is obviously Apple, iOS and iCloud is a global service.

"So there seems to be something that's putting us at risk in Australia that we're not quite clear on yet."

What part of the hacker's message looks like on an iMac screen (Fairfax images)

LISTEN IN FULL: Troy Hunt speaks to 3AW Afternoons

LISTEN IN FULL: Tony Warren speaks to Tom Elliott

LISTEN IN FULL: Trevor Long tells 3AW Drive what people can do to fix the problem

Having problems listening? Upgrade your media player for Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Firefox.


Blog comments Your Say

Post a comment * Mandatory fields