12 Jun 2014

Hackers Accused of Extorting Apple Users Arrested in Russia

Two Russian men have been accused of using Apple devices to extort money, the Russian Ministry announced in a press release.

At the end of May 2014, hackers obtained an unknown number of iCloud login credentials, activated the Lost Mode feature and used it to remotely set new passwords and lock users out.

The pair, both born in the 1990s and living in the Southern Administrative District of Moscow, allegedly gained access to Apple IDs by creating phishing pages, breaking into e-mail accounts or via social engineering.

The second part of the plan involved linking other people's devices to a pre-arranged account "by offering Apple IDs with media content for lease on the Internet, which enabled the suspects to gain control of the devices,” the Ministry said.

Computer equipment, SIM cards and phones, as well as literature on hacking computer systems, were seized from the hackers’ homes.

Police made the arrests after surveillance cameras caught suspects withdrawing cash from the accounts they told victims to transfer money to.

The alleged crimes fit the description of attacks involving Australians whose Apple devices were locked by ransomware to back demands for $100.