Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hackers turn iPhone anti-theft system against legitimate owners

The iPhone and iOS is often used as an example of secure devices which you can locate and lock remotely should it be stolen or lost (even though we've seen hackers bypass its activation lock) But when if hackers gain access to it and lock their legitimate owners out?

That's what's been going on in Australia (and may very well spread to the rest of the world), with users waking up in the middle of the night to blaring iPhones ringing the "Find my iPhone" sound and showing a ransom demand pay up $50 to get your account back, or else...

It's one more reminder that security features can keep our devices safe, but they are too a potential attack vector - particularly if you use an easy to guess/crack password and use the same password in a number of other services and sites (each one of them a potential attack victim that will reveal your password to hackers.) Guess what they'll do as soon as they get their hands in thousands of new emails/passwords? They'll try it in every major service, including Apple's accounts, and should they gain access to it, you're one of the potential victims for such ransomware demands.

If you have Apple devices or any other device or security system that allows the same kind of remote "lock-out" features, be sure to use unique and strong passwords so you don't get to see those same services used against you and ruining your day (or, even more likely, weeks or months!)

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