Apple released a security update that was intended, among other things, to patch its Safari browser on iOS devices. The reason for the patch was a report by researchers at the security firm Lookout. In the report, Lookout detailed a scareware campaign that made users think they were infected with ransomware, when actuality they weren’t in any immediate danger.
The hackers (of unknown origin at this time) designed the scareware to exploit popup dialogs in such a way that users could not access Safari. The users in question are met with threatening, incessant messages that state that their iPhone is locked and they must pay a fee to unlock it. Examples of these messages can be found below:
Unfortunately, there have been enough cases of this that there have likely been numerous victims who actually paid the fake ransom. It is inevitable that people panic in the cases of scareware; that’s what makes it so effective. As mentioned before, however, Apple has released iOS update 10.3 in response to the campaign. As Lookout explains, Apple has altered its mobile Safari browser so that it changed how it handles website popup dialogs, “making them per-tab rather than taking over the entire app.”
Any iOS user should be safe from this scareware upon application of this update. If you have not yet updated to 10.3, do so as soon as possible as you are still vulnerable to this nuisance.
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