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Apple devices held for ransom

June 3, 2014 • Mobile and Telecoms, Top Stories

Core Group is the only authorised distributor of Apple products in Africa, including Nigeria.

Core Group is the only authorised distributor of Apple products in Africa, including Nigeria.

Apple users should be warned as a recent cybercriminal attack has seen users have their phones and tablets held for ransom. Users have been woken with an alarm-like sound and then a message “Your device has been hacked by Oleg Pliss’

For Apple users this should be a wake-up call, and a push for users to turn on the devices 2-factor authentication (2FA) for Apple ID credentials. At present, it has only been users who do not have 2FA switched on that have been a target. Apple’s 2FA allows a user to authenticate using a password, a 4-digit PIN (verification code) texted to a trusted device at each login, and also generate a 14 digit recovery for emergency.

“Apple users should be extra cautious”, says Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO of ESET Southern Africa, “although attacks have been confined to Australia and New Zealand, cybercriminals are not deterred by Geography, and the chances are that they will move out of these areas and shift their focus to other countries.”

As of yet there have been no reports of a victim having paid the ransom demand, and if users in South Africa should receive such a message, they should avoid doing so as there is no reason to think that the criminal would restore your access to the affected device once the ransom is paid.

 

Staff writer

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