Apple Fans Beware – Hackers Want To Hold Your iPhone To Ransom

CyberCrimeSecurity
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iPhone and iPad users hit by trick that freezes Safari until a ransom is paid

Con artists are targeting Apple device users with a new scam that apparently ‘freezes’ their iPhones.

The criminals attack a weakness in the Safari internet browser to display a fake crash report (pictured below) while users are on the app.

Users are told to call a number to fix the issue, but when contacted, are told to pay around £50 to fix the problem or face having all their personal details stolen.

Under attack

ios report hackThe scam, which is thought to have been caused by adverts infected with malicious code, has been detected previously in the UK but now appears to have arrived in the UK, according to the Daily Mail.

When victims dial the number listed on the fake crash report for an ‘immediate fix’, they are told that a third party has been removing all their details from their handset – and this can only be stopped by paying a ransom of up to £30.

However, those users fooled by this are simply just handing their card details over to the scammers.

Some users have already found a quick fix for the issue, which involves placing your phone in ‘airplane’ mode, which turns off all connections, clearing your website history and browsing data, and then reopening Safari.

Apple has advised that some users may want to turn off certain features in Safari, such as blocking cookies or allowing JavaScript functions, both of which have been linked to cybercrime activities in the past.

So-called ‘ransomware’ attacks, where hackers gain control of a users’ machine and demand money to release it, have grown hugely in the past few years.

A recent McAfee study found a 165 percent increase in ransomware, driven largely by new ‘families’ of hacks such as the hard-to-detect CTB-Locker, Teslacrypt, and the emergence of new versions of CryptoWall, TorrentLocker, and BandarChor.

And a similar study by ESET found that over a third of UK companies has either personally been held to ransom by hackers, or know someone that has had their networks infected by ransomware.

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