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Hackers Are Holding iPhones Hostage Using This Anti-Theft Feature

Apple today introduced iCloud, a breakthrough set of free new cloud services that work seamlessly with applications on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content in iCloud and automatically and wirelessly push it to all your devices. Business Wire

Hackers took a bite out of the Apple-using world -- mostly the Australian part -- this morning, with many Aussies waking up to find that they had been locked out of their iPhones, iPads or Macs.

The key to getting back in: paying a ransom via PayPal.

Hackers were apparently able to exploit a weakness in the iCloud Find My iPhone feature, meant to allow owners to lock their phones remotely if they are lost or stolen but used in this case, perversely, to lock owners out of their own phones.

Apple forum users were busy discussing fixes today, and the good news for many users appeared to be that if you use a four-digit PIN on your device, merely entering that would get you back in.

A less-desirable but workable solution: reset your device to the last backup point, losing some data but regaining entry.

The long and short of the online discussion seemed to be that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

As with most hacking situations, this rash of hacks serves as a good reminder to use stronger passwords and two-step verification.

Featured image via the Associated Press

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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