Ransomware is not uncommon on Windows machines, but has so far only been seen once on Macs and not at all on non-jailbroken iOS devices. However, Dutch site AppleTips reports that hackers are trying to fool people into thinking their devices have been compromised after gaining access to an Apple ID.

Hackers use Find My iPhone to lock the phone, displaying a message demanding a ransom for access.

This device is locked. Unlock 50$. Email for details: helpappledevice@gmail.com

While 9to5Mac readers would be unlikely to fall for this, recognizing it as a lock message that can be cleared simply by using the phone’s normal passcode, technically naive users might be fooled.

The attack requires someone to have compromised the Apple ID associated with the device, but again non-tech users tend to re-use passwords and not use two-factor authentication, so it would only require an unrelated website to be hacked to gain access to credentials that also serve as Apple ID logins.

As ever, the best protection is to use strong, unique passwords for every website and use two-factor authentication for your Apple account.

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About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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