How to Unlock Your Hijacked iPhone or iPad

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We initially reported that Australian iOS users were being hacked here. The users of their iPhone or iPad would get locked out of their own devices and get a screen saying that they had been hacked by a certain ?Oleg Pliss? and that they had to pay $100 for their devices to be unlocked.

It seems as though the exploit only affects users who are connected to the iCloud service. There were a lot complaints from the forums saying that they were forced to change their Apple ID passwords.

A possible point of entry for the hackers would be the ?Find My iPhone? service which is used to find a user?s lost iPhone. In this case, it was used, ironically enough, as a starting point for the hijack instead. Users report that they had received messages saying that their device had been registered as ?lost?. It is still unclear, though if there is a security breach at Apple or if this is simply due to users using the same credentials for other online services.

If you?re a victim of the hijack, you can try the steps below to fix your device yourself. A word of warning though, data will most likely be lost so you?ll have to restore a back up once you have access to your device again. We at TBB will not be held responsible if something goes wrong.

If you have decided to still try it out, please follow the steps below.

  • Turn off your iPhone/iPad
  • Plug your cable into the computer and have iTunes open (do not plug into the phone yet)
  • Press and hold the home key on your turned-off iPhone/iPad (for about 10 seconds).
  • If nothing happens, plug in the cable into your iPhone/iPad (keep holding the home key)
  • Wait until you see the picture of iTunes and the cable on the front of the iPhone/iPad
  • Your iTunes should then recognize the iPhone/iPad as an unidentified iPhone/iPad
  • Select restore factory settings (it should download some software) after approximately 15 minutes and automatically install it
  • The iPhone/iPad should go through some of the standard reset screens (usually black screen with apple icon and loading bar)
  • You will be prompted to restore the phone…. Do this from iTunes not the iPhone/iPad
  • Throughout this process, you must not let the iPhone/iPad or computer go into sleep mode, and don’t disconnect

Photo Source: Apple forums

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