Security Center

Scam Alert: Criminals Hack into Apple Devices to Demand Ransom

Posted
08/09/2016
Criminals are tricking Apple users into sending them money by hacking in to users' Apple accounts and convincing them that their devices have been compromised via a message on their Apple device lock screens.
 
Using the Find My iPhone tool, criminals hack into a user's iCloud account, change their password and lock their Apple device. These criminals then use the Find My iPhone tool to display the following message on the lock screen of the hacked Apple device: "This device is locked. Unlock $50. Email for details." An email address that is not associated with a legitimate company is then provided.
 
The lock message is used to scare customers into paying the ransom. However, Apple users can clear it by simply unlocking their device with its normal passcode.
 
If you do see the message above or a similar one pop up on your device:

  • Do not pay the ransom
  • Do not respond to the email address provided
  • Reset your Apple ID credentials immediately
  • Make sure you did not use the same login credentials on any other account, as it too may have been compromised

Learn more about resetting your Apple ID and keeping your Apple ID secure on Apple's website.