Financial Inclusion

PayPal Australia Reassures Customers After Potential Data Breach

Some Apple users in Australia have found themselves victims of a unique attack by hackers through their iPhones. According to several reports, Apple customers received a message on their iPhones, iPads and Macs, which told them that if they didn’t pay US$100 to a PayPal account, their devices would be wiped of all data.

The hack took advantage of the Find My iPhone feature, and locked users out of their own devices. A message reportedly popped up that said the device had been “hacked by Oleg Pliss.”

According to a PayPal spokesperson, the Hotmail account that was connected with “Oleg Pliss” was not actually linked to a PayPal account. However, if the hack had been linked somehow to PayPal, the spokesperson explained to CNET that there are protections in place for customers.

“If money was sent, our customers would be covered thanks to PayPal’s Buyer Protection,” the spokesperson said. Additionally, PayPal explained that with its cloud-based structure, financial information is not stored on customers’ phones. Should a hacker remotely access or wipe a device, the customer’s financial information would remain secure.

Apple also made a statement, and said that the company takes security very seriously, but that iCloud was not compromised through this incident.

“Impacted users should change their Apple ID password as soon as possible and avoid using the same user name and password for multiple services,” the statement read. “Any users who need additional help can contact AppleCare or visit their local Apple Retail Store.”

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