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Russian hackers involved in Apple device hijacking and ransom arrested by police

post #1 of 11
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Russian police on Tuesday said they arrested two hackers supposedly responsible for "hijacking" Apple products via Find My iPhone, locking owners out until they pay a ransom to regain access.


Message from hacked iMac. | Source: The Age


According to a statement from Directorate K, the Russian Interior Ministry's cyber crime arm, the alleged hackers could face up to two years in jail if found guilty of perpetrating the hijackings, reports Re/code.

Directorate K would not disclose how many Apple product owners had been hit by the attacks and declined to comment on whether the victims were nationals or foreigners. Since the hackers went through Apple's iCloud, they could potentially have hit targets anywhere in the world.

The ministry believes the attackers used Find My iPhone to break into users' devices and lock them remotely. Instead of using brute force or password reuse, the department said the pair of alleged hackers relied on two main scams.

"The first involved gaining access to the victim's Apple ID by means of the creation of phishing pages, (gaining) unauthorized access to email or using methods of social engineering," the ministry said. "The second scheme was aimed at attaching other people's devices to a prearranged account."

The latter scheme relied on offering Apple IDs with attached media content for rent, thus allowing the hackers to take control of a target device.

While the statement failed to recognize a series of recent attacks outside of Russia, the arrested hackers' tactics are identical to those used to break into iPhones, iPads and Macs in Australia, New Zealand, the U.S. and Canada.

At the time, multiple users reported being locked out of their Apple devices through Find My iPhone's remote lock feature. A message sent to many devices read, "Device hacked by Oleg Pliss," and directed owners to pay up to $100 to a Russia-based PayPal account for a device unlock.

For its part, Apple released a statement days after the hijacks were first reported, saying iCloud was not compromised in the scam.
post #2 of 11
No one was sent to Siberia for the rest of their lives?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #3 of 11
Is hijacking something for ransom ever a good idea?
post #4 of 11

Wonder what all the trolls will say about this. They're STILL yapping on saying Apple's iCloud servers were hacked into when the most likely scenario was people simply not being careful with their Apple ID's.

Author of The Fuel Injection Bible

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Author of The Fuel Injection Bible

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post #5 of 11

They'll probably be bunking with Snowden and comparing notes in their luxury accommodations.  You can't believe anything a government cyber crime/intelligence department says about anything. What did the CIA just tweet?

 

"We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet."

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #6 of 11
Are these the people that were hijacking the Australian iCloud account users' devices.
Edited by SolipsismX - 6/10/14 at 8:00pm

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by drunkenmaster View Post

Is hijacking something for ransom ever a good idea?

Not anywhere with good law enforcement.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Are these the people that were hijacking the Austealian iCloud account users' devices.

The hard part wasn't hijacking user accounts, it was however really hard finding some Austealians lol.gif
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #9 of 11

"The latter scheme relied on offering Apple IDs with attached media content for rent"

 

The way I read this is that iPhone owners were enticed to switch their Apple IDs in return for access to cheap/free movies (?). If this is true then the iPhone owners were trying to game the system and got burned.

 

It would be helpful if ai would report on more detailed specifics as to how the scam worked.

post #10 of 11
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post
No one was sent to Siberia for the rest of their lives?

 

They tried, but Apple Maps directed them to “Side Beer, IA

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


The hard part wasn't hijacking user accounts, it was however really hard finding some Austealians lol.gif

Yeah, those Austealians are a nightmare to find actually.

 

What's also a nightmare to find for us New Zealanders is Australians. It's not because they're hard to find it's that they're everywhere here which might be the reason you can't find them in Australia. :lol: 

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