When things go wrong with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) products, Australia oddly is the place it seems to happen. Last year, when Apple rolled out Apple Maps in place of Google Maps as the default location application for iOS, Australia was where people were getting so lost that it almost cost them dearly. Now, Australia is the home to a hack across many different Apple products that — though far from lethal — might be costing users a bit of time and money.
According to TheAge – an Australian publication — and numerous postings on the Apple Support Communities page, users in many parts of Australia have reported their devices being “hacked” and locking them out. Apple’s “Find My iPhone” and “Find My Mac” services were evidently exploited to help the hacker(s) lock out users from their own devices — doing quite the opposite of what the tools were meant to do.
In many of the instances, the hacker goes by the alias “Oleg Pliss” and tells users that they need to send up to $100 to an PayPal account in order to get their phones un-”hacked” and have access to them again. In a somewhat odd twist, a PayPal spokesperson said the email address people were being told to pay wasn’t actually connected to any PayPal account, but the spokesperson did say that if victims of the “hack” had sent any money, it would be refunded by the service, reports The Age.
Another odd thing about the hack on these Apple devices is that it’s not exactly a hack, but rather more of a breach of security and potentially the aftermath of a separate hack.