Around two weeks ago, hackers identifying themselves with names like "Oleg Pliss" started holding iOS devices and even Mac computers hostage in exchange for payment — but now they've been caught in their Russian homeland.
The incidents, which were primarily targeted at Apple users in Australia, appeared to use some kind of loophole in the Find My iPhone software that allowed them to remotely lock the afflicted user's devices until such time a ransom was paid via PayPal or other method.
According to the Russian Interior Ministry, a 23-year-old man known only as "Ivan" confessed to the crime along with an unnamed 17-year-old accomplice after being caught on closed-circuit television withdrawing the ransom money from an ATM machine.
Described as "madly keen on computers and hacking," neither Ivan nor his cohort had any formal training or employment experience, but were simply "looking for easy ways to make money."
Although Apple initially blamed the issue on recycled passwords, the report noted that Apple IDs were being stolen as part of a phishing scheme, and in some cases involved unauthorized access to email or social networks.
The alleged hackers then requested payments of $50 or $100 to unlock the devices, although users protected with passcodes could simply change the iCloud password and avoid the whole scheme.