Exploit alert – iCloud Activation Lock

We have had a number of calls from individuals and small businesses suffering with locked iPhones, iPads and Macs.

The exploit has allowed a hacker to activate ‘Lost Mode’, and there may be no way to unlock your device even if you have access to iCloud.

If you are one of our customers with a managed service, you are not likely to be effected by this as activation lock is handled by our management systems.

At the time of writing there is no official statement from Apple.

This is an example of a screen you might see on a Mac asking you to email apple.help@gmx.com  – iOS users are seeing the equivalent lock screen.

 

Since there is not yet any official guidance regarding this exploit research has shown that it is possible to resolve. Also it seems that users have been effected globally.

Firstly let me reassure you that your data should still be ok on the device despite you not being able to access it.

Only Apple can unlock the device if the user doesn’t have access. A  support call needs to be made to Apple and a visit to an Apple Store Genius Bar where an engineer will unlock the device in around 20mins.  You will need proof of purchase to show you are the owner unlocking the device.

If you don’t have proof of purchase you may be stuck until/if Apple bring out an alternate fix.  Though some users of old Mac hardware have reported being able to bypass the lock, and iPhone users have reported some success with iTunes and Wiping the device.

Hopefully Apple will introduce an alternate fix to save a trip to an Apple Store.

In the meantime we recommend;

  1. Change iCloud Passwords 
  2. Change computer passwords
  3. Turn off ‘Find my iPhone/Mac’
  4. Make sure you have enabled 2-Factor security on your Apple ID.
  • Normally we would never recommend you turn off ‘Find my iPhone/Mac’ because if your device is stolen the device could be used.  However until the issue is resolved turning off this feature will stop the exploit.

There is a discussion on Apple forums which relates to this issue. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8020306?start=30&tstart=0

Spread the word. Share this post!