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“Phishing Actors Continue to Target Apple IDs” New Cyberattack Targets iPhone Users

New Cyberattack Targets iPhone Users
Photo Credit AFP

A new cyberattack is targeting iPhone users, with criminals attempting to obtain individuals’ Apple IDs in a “phishing” campaign, security software company Symantec warned in an alert Monday.

Cybercriminals are sending text messages to iPhone users in the U.S. that appear to be from Apple but are attempting to steal victims’ credentials.

“Phishing actors continue to target Apple IDs due to their widespread use, which offers access to a vast pool of potential victims,” Symantec stated. “These credentials are highly valued, providing control over devices, access to personal and financial information, and potential revenue through unauthorized purchases.”

Symantec, owned by Broadcom, a maker of semiconductors and infrastructure software, emphasized that consumers are more likely to trust communications appearing to come from a trusted brand like Apple.

The malicious SMS messages seem to be from Apple and urge recipients to click a link and sign in to their iCloud accounts. For instance, a phishing text might read: “Apple important request iCloud: Visit signin[.]authen-connexion[.]info/iCloud to continue using your services.” Recipients are asked to complete a CAPTCHA challenge to appear legitimate before being directed to a fake iCloud login page.

These cyberattacks are commonly known as “smishing” schemes, where criminals use fake text messages from seemingly reputable organizations, rather than email, to lure people into sharing personal information, such as account passwords and credit card data.

How to Protect Yourself
Be cautious about opening any text messages that appear to be sent from Apple. Always verify the source of the message — if it’s from a random phone number, it’s almost certainly not from Apple. iPhone users should avoid clicking on links inviting them to access their iCloud account; instead, go directly to the login page.

“If you’re suspicious about an unexpected message, call, or request for personal information, such as your email address, phone number, password, security code, or money, it’s safer to presume that it’s a scam — contact that company directly if you need to,” Apple advised in a post on avoiding scams.

Apple urges users to always enable two-factor authentication for Apple ID for extra security and to make it harder to access their account from another device. This feature “is designed to make sure that you’re the only person who can access your account,” Apple said.

Apple also noted that its support representatives will never send users a link to a website asking them to sign in, or request their password, device passcode, or two-factor authentication code.

“If someone claiming to be from Apple asks you for any of the above, they are a scammer engaging in a social engineering attack. Hang up the call or otherwise terminate contact with them,” the company advised.

The Federal Trade Commission also recommends setting up your computer and mobile phone so that security software is updated automatically to enhance protection against such attacks.

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