CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It is called Ransomware.
Recently, some people living in Australia woke up to find their iPhones and iPads were being held hostage. Now the same attack is traveling the globe.
The ransomware is going by the name "Oleg Pliss". Typically something like this has been a virus that takes ahold of your computer and won't let go until you pay the cybercriminals money. This version is different because it's the first time it has gone mobile.
WBTV Cyber Expert explains how the hack works and what to do if it hits you, below:
1. Message says "Device hacked by Oleg Pliss. For unlock device YOU NEED send voucher code by 50$..."
2. It does not seem...at least yet...to be a true piece of malware
3. Researchers believe that your device can be hijacked because the cybercriminals have your Apple ID credentials (user id and password) & then they believe they use that and initiate the Find My iPhone feature as a back door to virtually grab your phone
4. Why this works: Because when you send a message that your phone is lost, Apple locks it up until you get it back and can unlock it in the safety of your own hands....In this case the cybercriminals trick apple into locking your phone because it's "lost" and then they offer to sell you back access to it.
What we do know is that if you do get the dreaded message from Oleg Pliss, there's no need to panic.
If you are registered at work with a corporate mobile device management product, you may be able to ask your tech team to unlock it independently of Apple's locking mechanism.
If you don't have that option, back up that phone today, and if you are ransomed, work with Apple to do a factory reset of the phone