Mac person? If you think you’re exempt from malware, spyware or hacking… think again!
This week at Think Cirrus Towers we’ve come across another I.T. conundrum we’d like to share.
One of our clients, based in London, phoned us in a state of panic when they had discovered that they had been locked out of their Mac Book Pro.
Unaware of any hacking scares or scandals, we slowly gathered intelligence as to what was causing this conundrum.
We then stumbled across a piece of information about an incident recently reported in Indonesia. A number of Mac and Iphone users reported that their device suddenly locked itself. This is a common problem, right? Wrong – these users, didn’t have a passcode to begin with. Such incidences were aired on Thursday 10th August via Twitter’s Indonesian hashtag, Cuitan, which highlighted the trending problem.
According to MakeMac.com – the top Indonesian Apple review site, the unusual condition experienced by iOS users was ‘Lost Mode’, while Mac users experienced ‘EFI’ Lock. Allegedly these problems were due to a hacking attack.
How have the hackers gained access?
It seems to us that the hacker has managed to acquire the Apple ID and have stolen the victim’s password. With their details, the hacker can then access their icloud and use the ‘Find my iPhone/Find my Mac’ feature, thus being able to essentially disable to device.
How do you get your device unlocked?
The hackers, always in want of some cash, have created a set of instructions which means that the victim is required to email firstname.lastname@example.org – which is not an official Apple address. Once contacted the hacker will request a ransom of $50 US dollars. After the exchange of funds, a unique code will be released to enable to victim to once again gain access to their device.
The workings of this malicious program are similar to ransomware, which is in charge of locking the computer or victim’s documents, then requesting a ransom (usually in the form of Bitcoin) if the victim wants to get a unique code to unlock the device.
How did they acquire usernames and passwords?
It is not known exactly what hackers use to steal their Apple ID casualties, but MakeMac alleges hackers are using phishing alias techniques to get victim information.
We’re not entirely sure whether this hacking scandal is fake news or not, however what we do know is that one of our clients has experienced it and we know that the moral of the story is that you can’t be too cautious. Change your passwords regularly, update your operating systems and change your security settings. We know it sounds simple – but sometimes these are the best preventative measures.