Two young iPhone hackers have been arrested and detained in Russia for hacking devices and demanding ransoms to unlock them for the user.
The alleged ransomware culprits were arrested in Moscow and authorities claim the two have confessed to the crimes after their apartment was searched, retrieving computers and SIMs. 23-year-old “Ivan” was named by the police with an unnamed 17-year-old accomplice.
It remains unclear if these two hackers are responsible for the “Oleg Pliss” ransomware cases that sprung up in Australia a few weeks ago.
Australian tech journalist Ben Grubb, of the Sydney Morning Herald, reported on the arrests, having previously covered the hacks:
In announcing the hackers had been detained, the Ministry of Internal Affairs said its Interior Ministry had successfully “stopped the activities of the group of persons involved in the blocking of Apple devices to extort funds”. It said the hackers used two “well-established” schemes to conduct their activities.
“The first was to gain access to the Apple ID of a victim’s account by creating phishing pages, [gaining] unauthorised access to email, or using social engineering techniques,” Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said. “The second scheme was aimed at binding … devices to a pre-arranged account.”