Australia’s Apple iCloud Device Hijacking Threat Lands In The U.S.

Australian authorities are advising Apple device owners who have iCloud accounts to change their passwords due to a recent hacking/hijacking outbreak, and now it appears to be spreading to the U.S. as well. The attacks involve a hacker logging into an iCloud account and using the lost device feature to lock users out. Once the device is locked, the hacker sends a message to the device owner demanding a ransom, typically between $50 and $100, to unlock the device.

The attacks seemed to initially only affect Apple device owners living in Australia, though Apple users living in the U.S. have started posting similar complaints in the company's support thread. "I'm in the U.S. Never been to Australia, Hacked last night...," an Apple device owner posted.


Apple is aware of the issue and issued a statement saying that its iCloud service has not been compromised.

"Apple takes security very seriously and iCloud was not compromised during this incident," Apple. "Impacted users should change their Apple ID password as soon as possible and avoid using the same user name and password for multiple services. Any users who need additional help can contact AppleCare or visit their local Apple Retail Store."

Device owners who use a passcode could simply punch it in, change their iCloud password, and avoid dealing with the ransom demand. However, users who didn't have a passcode were faced with restoring their iPhone or other Apple device. Having a recent backup could minimize the data loss, but only if one existed in the first place.