Noah J Nelson on Tuesday, May. 27th
Some owners of iPhones in Australia woke up over the weekend to a disturbing message: their phones had been remotely hacked and were being held for ransom. All Tech Considered’s Jessica Glazer gives the background on the phenomenon:
Ransomware hacking came out of Russia and Eastern Europe about five years ago and spread west, according to the Internet security firm, Norton. It has become more prevalent in the last two years with criminals typically charging between $60 and $200 to unlock a computer. Norton estimates that with the various ransomware malware out there, victims have ended up paying about $5 million per year.
This kind of hacking — locking users’ devices and demanding money — has been used on laptops and desktops before but is spreading to mobile. Some tech blogs have speculated that recent security breaches at eBay and Yahoo might be connected to the attacks.
A few U.S. users are also reporting the attacks.
Glazer gives Softpedia’s tips on how to recover from this kind of attack, and this solid piece of advice to prevent this method of hacking: set up a passcode on your device and activate two-step verification.
Ah, the future. So convenient.