Computer Security Oleg Pliss Virus Stuns iPhone Users with Haggling...

Oleg Pliss Virus Stuns iPhone Users with Haggling Ransomware Attack

Users of the iPhone mostly claim that they are completely immune to cyber attacks or malware on their device. For the most part, they are correct, with the looming exception of an "Oleg Pliss" Virus, which has been discovered to be a ransomware threat that demands between $50 and $100 to unlock the smartphone.

Ransomware has long been a serious nuisance among computer users. With this surprising discovery of what is claimed to be a message stating: "Device hacked by Oleg Pliss. For unlock device YOU NEED send voucher code by 50$..." Ransomware has come in many forms on PCs around the world ranging from the well-known FBI Moneypak Ransomware to recent ones like CryptoLocker, which encrypt files on your system and holds them for ransom until an outrageous fee is paid through a bitcoin service.

With what seems to be the very first ransomware attack on a smartphone, let alone the security-coveted Apple iPhone, it has taken the ground up from under many security experts.

The discovery of this "Oleg Pliss" Ransomware was broke through a story by Ryan W. Neal in the International Business Times. He wrote that: "Though malware doesn't appear to be involved, the Oleg Pliss attack looks similar to theCryptolocker malware that made headlines in October 2013 for encrypting a computer hard drive and demanding a $300 ransom be paid in bitcoin within 100 hours. Cryptolocker affected only Windows computers, and while this Oleg Pliss attack doesn't rely on malware, it shows Apple users that they, too, need to be vigilant about cybersecurity."

So far, Apple has not responded to the attack nor answered any questions regarding that attack. Right now, researchers are wondering why the "Oleg Pliss" attack has only affected iPhone users in Australian and New Zealand regions of the world. It seems as if the hackers behind this fiasco, maybe "Oleg Pliss" himself if there is such an entity, are using the attack to access the iCloud using Apple usernames and passwords so they may lock associated devices.

Figure 1. Screen shot of Oleg Pliss Ransomware Message on an iPhone – Source:
iphone oleg pliss ransomware threat message lock screen

A hacker that is armed with an Apple ID and password could be a serious threat to iPhone users. They could potentially lock a device associated with a compromised account, and not only that, but they could remotely wipe all data on the device. Moreover, the "Oleg Pliss" attack demands that affected users pay up a fine of $50 to $100 as demonstrated in Figure 1 above, which could be the ultimate purpose behind this new ransomware attack.

Right now, security experts are urging iPhone users who may be under this new Oleg Pliss Ransomware attack bypass the lock by resetting your device, but first reset their Apple ID password. Unfortunately, to reset an iPhone it would require erasing all information on it, so a backup on a local computer would come in handy.

To throw a wrench into those who think the "Oleg Pliss" ransomware threat is just temporary and isolated, experts believe it is due to spread worldwide. As far as the reach of the "Oleg Pliss" threat, only time will uncover its ugly face and eventually force Apple to respond with a fix through a potential iOS update to block this dangerous threat. Maybe malware protection for the Apple iPhone isn't such a bad idea.