Tag Archives: iOS

Apple IDs Compromised: iPhones, iPads, and Macs Locked, Held for Ransom

Many users in Australia and New Zealand have had their Apple IDs compromised. We are seeing reports on Apple’s support community and social networks that their Apple devices are being remotely locked and held for ransom by someone claiming to be Oleg Pliss, a software engineer at Oracle, who the attackers randomly chose to pin this attack on.

Apple ID 1 edit.png

Figure 1. Locked iPhone ransom message

What happened to my Apple device?

Based on initial feedback, a number of Apple IDs have been compromised and used to lock iPhones, iPads, and Macs. It remains unclear exactly how the Apple IDs were compromised, but possible explanations include phishing attempts, weak passwords, or password reuse. A separate breach involving emails and passwords used to login to Apple and iCloud could have facilitated the compromise of the Apple IDs.

Once an Apple ID is compromised, attackers can access the Find My iPhone feature in iCloud. This feature is used to locate your devices if they have an internet connection and turn on the Lost Mode feature. Once Lost Mode is turned on, the attacker can remotely play a sound, lock the device, and display a ransom message.

Whatever you do, do NOT pay the ransom. There is no guarantee that the criminals responsible will unlock your device.

How to deal with a compromised Apple ID

While your devices have been locked, the root issue is the compromise of your Apple ID. First, you should login to your Apple ID account and confirm that your password has not been changed. If it has not, you should immediately secure the account by changing your password. Once changed, make sure you login to your iCloud account and sign out of all browsers just to be safe.

How to deal with a locked device

If you had set a passcode on your device prior to the compromise, you can simply unlock it by inputting your passcode.

However, if you did not set a passcode on your device, then your phone will remain locked. This is because the attacker is required to set a passcode for your device when enabling the Lost Mode feature. In this scenario, you should call Apple support for further assistance. However, most users are reporting that the only option to recover the device is to wipe the device and restore it from a backup.

How to secure your Apple ID and devices

Even if this did not impact you directly, it is a good time to review and implement the following security measures to protect your Apple ID and devices.

  1. Set a passcode on your phone or tablet. We cannot stress this one enough. Although it may be annoying to have to input a passcode to unlock your device, it is a basic security measure to prevent unauthorized physical access to your device. And in this case, it could save you the trouble of having to perform a factory reset on your device.
  2. Use a strong, unique password for your Apple ID. If you need help creating a strong password, use a password generator and consider using a password manager, such as LastPass, 1Pass, KePass, or Norton Identity Safe.
  3. Set up two step verification for your Apple ID. While it is labeled as an optional security feature, enabling two step verification will make it that much harder for an attacker to access your account without having physical access to your phone or other trusted device.
  4. Back up your devices. In the event that you have to perform a factory reset, having a backup will ensure you do not lose your settings, messages, photos and documents.

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この 1 週間というもの、フォトメッセージアプリ Snapchat のユーザーは、スパムスナップ(Snapchat では写真をスナップと呼ぶ)の数が急増したことにお気付きのことでしょう。Snapchat サービスには現在、無数のスパムアカウントが入り込んでいて、胸を露出した女性のスパムスナップがばらまかれています。
図 1. Snapchat 上のスパムアカウント
Snapchat ユーザーの元には今、「[女性の名前]snap_####」という形式の似たような名前のアカウントから次々と申請が届いています。どの申請にも、スパムアカウントから保留中のスナップが添付されています。Snapchat アプリにはプライバシー設定があり、友人からのスナップのみを受け付ける設定も可能ですが、それでも不明なユーザーから追加申請は届きます。シマンテックが確認した一部の Snapchat ユーザーからも、この 1 週間でこうした申請が増えたという指摘がありました。
図 2. 胸を露出した女性が写っているスパムスナップの例
このような申請を承認すると、裸の女性のスパムスナップが送られてきます。写真は同じではありませんが、どのスナップにも「Add me on KIK for nudes swap(Kik に私を追加して、ヌード写真を交換しましょう)」というコメントがあり、モバイルデバイス用のインスタントメッセージアプリ Kik Messenger のユーザー名が添えられています。
Kik Messenger に切り替えると、スパマーにポルノボットを利用する隙を与えてしまいます。これは、ヌード写真をもっと送ると約束する所定のセリフを使ってユーザーとのつながりを持とうとするスパムアカウントです。
図 3. Kik Messenger 上のポルノボットの例
リンクをタップすると、アフィリエイトプログラムを通じて何回かリダイレクトが発生し、最終的には Apple 社の iOS App Store や Google Play ストアに登録されているゲームのページに移動します。移動先のアプリのひとつに、Snapchat スパムについて言及しているレビューがありました。
図 4. App Store のレビューで指摘されている Snapchat スパム
これらのスパムは、インストールが実行されるたびに報酬が支払われるアフィリエイトプログラムを通じて儲けを上げる仕組みになっています。チャットのセリフの中でポルノボットがインストールの証拠を求めているのもこのためです。シマンテックの調査によると、複数の短縮 URL で少なくとも 30,000 件のクリックスルーが発生しましたが、複数の短縮 URL を使って複数の攻撃が行われている可能性を考えると、この数字はさらに多くなるかもしれません。
以前のブログ(リンク 1リンク 2)でも指摘したように、サービスの人気が上がると、スパマーはそれを見逃しません。Snapchat では毎日 3 億 5,000 万件ものメッセージが送信されているので、スパマーが狙うのも当然です。
ポルノスパムとは別に、「secret admirer(隠れファン)」というエサを使って Snapchat ユーザーを狙い、SnapCrush という Web サイトに誘導しようとするスパム攻撃も出現しています。この Web サイトはユーザー名を収集し、同じように一連のアフィリエイトプログラムを通じてユーザーをリダイレクトします。ユーザーを欺いてモバイルアプリをインストールさせるという目的も同じです。
図 5. Snapchat 上の新たなスパム攻撃
今のところ、Snapchat ユーザーがアプリ内からこのようなアカウントをスパムとして報告できる機能はありません。当面の間、スパムアカウントを報告するには、Snapchat のサポートサイトで「Report Spam」セクションを利用してください。
* 日本語版セキュリティレスポンスブログの RSS フィードを購読するには、http://www.symantec.com/connect/ja/item-feeds/blog/2261/feed/all/ja にアクセスしてください。

Spamchat: Snapchat Users Subjected to Porn and Secret Admirer Spam

Over the past week, users of the photo messaging application Snapchat have seen an increase in the number of spam snaps (Snapchat pictures). The service is now being infiltrated by a myriad of fake accounts sending spam snaps of topless women.
Figure 1. Spam accounts on Snapchat
Snapchat users are currently receiving requests from accounts named similarly, using the following format: “[GIRL’S NAME]snap_####”. Each request features a pending snap from these spam accounts. Despite the app offering privacy settings to only allow snaps from friends, users can still receive add requests from unknown users. Some Snapchat users we spoke to have noticed an increase in these requests over the last week.
Figure 2. An example of a spam snap with a topless woman
If a user accepts one of these requests, they will receive a spam snap of a nude woman. While the photo may vary, each snap includes the caption, “Add me on KIK for nudes swap ;)” along with a username on Kik Messenger, an instant messaging application for mobile devices.
Moving to Kik Messenger gives spammers the opportunity to leverage porn bots, fake accounts that engage with users by using a predefined script that promises more nude photos.
The porn bot offers more nude photos, but only if the user clicks on a link to install a mobile application first. To make sure the user installs the application, the bot requires proof and requests a screenshot from the app before sending more nude photos.
Figure 3. An example of a porn bot on Kik Messenger
If a user clicks on the link, a series of redirects occurs through affiliate programs, leading to games hosted on Apple’s iOS app store or the Google Play store. We have found that reviews of one of the applications mention the spam from Snapchat.
Figure 4. App store review highlighting Snapchat spam
The way these spammers make money is through affiliate programs that pay for each successful installation. This is why porn bots ask for proof of installation in the chat script. From our research, there were at least 30,000 clicks through multiple short URLs, though this number may be higher when considering that there could be multiple campaigns with different short URLs in operation.
As we’ve highlighted in previous examples, once a service becomes popular, the spammers are never far behind. With 350 million messages sent on Snapchat on a daily basis, it is no surprise that spammers have honed in on the service.
Other than porn spam, Snapchat users are also being targeted by a new campaign that uses a “secret admirer” lure in order to direct them to a website called SnapCrush. This website harvests usernames and directs users through a similar chain of affiliate programs with the same intention: to convince users to install a mobile application.
Figure 5. A new spam campaign on Snapchat
Currently, there is no way for Snapchat users to report these accounts as spam within the application itself. For now, users can report spam accounts to the service through the Report Spam section of the Snapchat support site.

Update Your Android OS! It Could Save You from Cyber Attacks

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Update Your Android OS! It Could Save You from Cyber Attacks

Although some change can be great, we’re not always thrilled when modifications are made to things we’ve become accustomed to expecting. It’s easy to get thrown off when your local supermarket relocates the produce section across the store, or when a go-to dish is removed from the menu at your favorite restaurant. And many of Read more…

Top mobile phone apps snoop into your business

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Apple Hit by Same Java Exploit as Facebook in Largest-Ever Cyber Attack on Corporate Mac Computers

Add Apple to the list of high-profile companies hit by hackers as of late, right on the heels of a similar attack on Facebook just last week. According to Reuters, this is the widest known cyber attack to ever target corporate Apple computers. In other words: This is a big deal. For both Facebook and Read more…

Mobile Myths: Can My Apple Devices Get Hacked?

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“I bought a Mac, because it’s safer than a PC.” “I always surf the web with my iPhone, because I know it can’t get infected.” “I got a virus on my first PC, so now I only use Apple products.” Sound familiar? Too often, the rhetoric around the Mac vs. PC debate focuses on Apple’s Read more…