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Scam on Apple iCloud with Ransomware Features

malwarebytes-iphone-locked-screenMalware researchers have uncovered what initially seemed to be ransomware on an iPhone – a type of malware that locks the device and demands money to be paid to unlock it. In March 2016, mac users have begun to exhibit unfortunate problems related to this scam. Researchers have also seen it spread on mobile devices and they feel concerned that these scams are even more dangerous than ransomware itself.

Ransowmare Scam for Apple – What Is the Outcome

KeRanger – the first ransomware for mac books was discovered a while back and it threw many in fears, but now there is an evolved hack that seems to be more widespread than the ransomware and more dangerous, according to Malwarebytes.

Researchers have stumbled on a MacBook that was infected by what seemed to be ransomware, according to it’s user. When researchers first glanced at the Mac, it had what initially appeared as yet another form of a fake Apple tech support scam.

But in addition to this there was also a message on the device saying the user should write a six digit code to unlock the device and that a payment has to be completed to receive such a code.

When further researched, the results were relatively surprising. Malicious individulas who did this, somehow received access to the user’s own iCloud account and managed to access all the features to manage the phone. The criminals then managed to type a message on the screen of the phone that said the following:

“Contact me: hblackhat@mail.ru All your conversation sms+mail, bank, computer files, contacts, photos. I will public + send to your contacts.” Source: Malwarebytes

Nott only this, but the user additionally has gotten e-mails in a very similar nature that had even more serious threats, such as threatening the user that if a ransom is not paid, they have access to the financial and personal information of the user and will use it against her in multiple ways.

And this is not all, there is a feature that gives the possibility for anyone with access to remotely display messages, lock the phone, locate the device and even delete it completely. The hackers may have somehow gained access to this feature of the concrete device, allowing them to manipulate it in numerous ways.

This resulted in the complete locking of the user’s Mac book.

The Bottom Line for the Mac Ransom Scam

Apple tech support have previously unlocked and supported newer devices who have proof of ownership and this is what we advise you to do in case you fall into such scam and get your Mac book or other device locked. Bear in mind that you should be very careful because if the cyber-criminals have access to display messages on your phone, researchers warn that they also have the power to remotely erase your files.

In case you want to know how to protect yourself, we advise you to follow several simple guidelines:

  • Use a stronger password on your iCloud account and your related accounts to it (Gmail, Ymail, etc.)
  • Use a stronger PIN code of your SIM card, in case a hacker uses it to hack into your Apple device.
  • Do not use the same name of your iCloud as your original name. It makes it easy to guess your iCloud username.
  • Use different passwords for different accounts.
  • Do more than one backups and backup your files on external drives as well.

All of these tools make it increasingly difficult for someone to gain access to the iCloud account. But in case this happens with you, experts strongly advise to immediately contact Apple support via another device.

Vencislav Krustev

A network administrator and malware researcher at SensorsTechForum with passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cyber security. Strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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