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Apple: iCloud hasn’t been compromised with iPhone and iPad hijack attacks

As we reported yesterday, many iPhone and iPad owners (most of them from Australia, but also the US and Canada) got a nasty shock when they awoke to find their device (or multiple Apple devices) had locked them out.

The unfortunate folks were confronted by a message which read: "Device hacked by Oleg Pliss", and then a demand to stump up US$100 (£59) in order to gain access to their own phone or tablet.

The problem affected those who were connected to the iCloud service, and as a result, Apple has finally issued a response on the matter, stepping forward to make a statement confirming that iCloud hasn't been breached – but that affected users should change their Apple ID password.

Apple's statement (via ZDNet) read: "Apple takes security very seriously and iCloud was not compromised during this incident. Impacted users should change their Apple ID password as soon as possible and avoid using the same user name and password for multiple services. Any users who need additional help can contact AppleCare or visit their local Apple Retail Store."

As to exactly how this attack was carried out – that still isn't clear, and Cupertino didn't mention anything relating to the cause. Doubtless the matter is still under investigation.

The thread regarding the incident on Apple's support forum is still going strong, with forum members suggesting a number of possible scenarios as to how user data was spilled. One user noted that it was perhaps a vulnerability in a router, one only available in the local market, which would explain the geographical clustering of those affected.

Another user, "Gimpsley", who claimed to look after hundreds of folks in an enterprise over in Australia, said he had only witnessed one employee being affected, and that "anecdotally the issue appears to be affecting a very limited number of people".

If you've been hit by the problem, see: Hackers are hijacking iPads and iPhones: Here's how to unlock them.