Skip to main content

See also:

iPads, iPhones frozen by hackers in worldwide attacks

iPads, iPhones frozen by hackers in worldwide attacks
iPads, iPhones frozen by hackers in worldwide attacks
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

iPads, iPhones, are being frozen by hackers across the globe, according to a May 27 report in Australia's “Sidney Morning Herald." Hackers are demanding a ransom before they will unfreeze the frozen iPad and iPhones.

This tactic is similar to the approach used by malicious software on computers know as “Ransomware." “Ransonware” takes over a person's computer and demands payment or they will contact police with fabricated accusations about illegal activities that were being done on the infected computer.

Australian iPhone, iPad users, were the first to have their iPads and iPhones hacked. Users awoke to the sounding of the “Find My Phone” alarm. They then discovered a message on their iPads, iPhones (and on Macs) demanding $100.00 in return for the hacker relinquishing control of the affected iPad, iPhones and Macs.

iPad, iPhone (and Mac) users who receive this message are able to unlock their affected device if the user had previously set a passcode. A passcode is the four digit number that users use to unlock their iPhone or iPad.

Users who have not setup a passcode cannot regain control of their device unless they reset it. Users who have reset their iPhone, iPad or Mac to factory settings because of this hack have lost all their documents and photos (unless they backed them up to iCloud).

If a hacker has taken over your iPad or iPhone and set a passcode on it that prevents you from retaking control, you can bypass it by going to Apple Support. Once you have regained control of your iPad or iPhone from the hacker change your Apple ID password.

It seems likely that hackers are able to get control of these iPads, iPhones and Macs because their users use the same passwords for their Apple IDs that they use in websites that have been previously breached (like eBay). You can make sure that your iPad, iPhone or Mac is not taken over by hackers by changing your Apple ID password to make it unique and by setting up a passcode or Touch ID.

Users can set up a passcode on their iPad or iPhone following these directions about iOS passcodes.