The iOS ransom hack that began targeting users in Australia and New Zealand is also affecting those in the United States and other countries.
The hack began this weekend with a number of victims in Australia seeing a “Find My iPhone” service message that locked them out of their iOS devices and claims that a $100 ransom must be paid to a PayPal account in order to regain control of the device.
This hack appears to have been from compromised security credentials for Apple’s iCloud services, though how the credentials were obtained by third parties is so far unknown. While at first it was suspected that devices without a security passcode were affected, others with pass-codes have been. One common thread to these accounts appears to be that their access codes were set up as part of the Find My iPhone iCloud service, and not done before this service was enabled.
While initially users from Australia and New Zealand were affected, several people from the US have also seen their devices locked with the same message, suggesting the attack may affect others until Apple is able to get a handle on it, or until users properly secure their iCloud accounts.
As a final security precaution, for now you can turn off Find My iPhone in your iCloud account, until the root of this problem has been found and corrected.