Phishing Attacks Against Apple IDs: How They Happen and Precautions
AppApple is known for providing top-notch protection, but no protection is perfect. Even Apple-branded devices and systems can fall victim to phishing attacks. Considering that the phishing method has been used in almost all cyberattacks since 2019, this is quite possible. One of the Apple products that hackers have targeted in recent years is Apple IDs. Let’s take a look at how Phishing Attacks Against Apple IDs occur.
What Is Phishing Attack Against Apple IDs?
Phishing attacks can be described as attacks by hackers to obtain users’ sensitive information such as passwords and social security numbers. Hackers try to deceive you by confusing you in attacks or offering various things. They usually reach you via email, text message, and so on, pretending to be someone from a famous company like Facebook, Instagram, a bank employee, or someone who deals with your email account. When you click on the links in the messages, you will be directed to a fake website.
Why Do Hackers Conduct Phishing Attacks Against Apple IDs?
All Apple products such as App Store, Apple Music, iCloud, iMessage, and FaceTime work in conjunction with your Apple ID. Hackers have to steal your identity and password to gain access to these accounts. Besides, all sensitive information such as your contact, payment, and security information is stored in your Apple ID. Hackers who gain access to your Apple ID may use this information for their own benefit or even sell them on the dark web. Another thing stored in the Apple ID is the files on your iCloud drive. When these files fall into hackers’ hands, you cannot imagine what would happen.
How Do Phishing Attacks Against Apple IDs Happen?
Nowadays, hackers have developed themselves a lot and have become very knowledgeable. Using all kinds of methods, they can attract the attention of users. Phishing attacks are the simplest and most effective of these methods. In these attacks that do not require advanced programming knowledge, all hackers need to do is trick you. With Apple ID attacks, hackers can trick you using browser notifications, activity notifications, or phone calls. When they contact you, they often ask you to click a link or call a number. They can use an excuse for this in an emergency, such as a virus infection on your Apple device. That way, you won’t have time to think if the situation is fake or not.
Top Emergencies Used by Hackers in Phishing Attacks Against Apple IDs
One of the best features of Apple devices is their user-friendly calendar. You can make a reminder of any event that they can forget by entering the Apple Calendar. Hackers can use this feature to send you fake notifications. Usually sent by an unknown person and a group, you are invited to a meeting or event in this invitation. When you click on this link or return to an invitation sent by hackers, the chances of falling victim to a phishing attack are very high.
If you have received a message that your iPhone has been locked, it means you have most likely fallen victim to a phishing attack. This means hackers have accessed your iCloud account and enabled the “Find My iPhone” feature. Hackers who gain access to your account will put your device in “lost” mode, and your device will be locked. Hackers then demand a ransom from you to unlock your account. If you don’t pay the ransom, your account can stay locked forever.
Apple ID Payment Information
With this method, hackers will reach you using the payment information for a purchase made with your Apple ID as an excuse. A payment receipt is usually attached to the message they send. They present this receipt, which they send as a PDF, to prove the reality of the emergency. Then, they will ask you to confirm the purchase via e-mail. Also, hackers ask for a certain amount of money to complete this urgent payment that they use as an excuse. When you proceed to the payment screen, you will be faced with a fake Apple page. If you enter your information on this page, which contains account management preferences, you will be attacked.
Apple Customer Service Impersonation
In this method, hackers pretend to call from Apple Customer Service. They usually try to reach you at short intervals on a fake number. If you pick up the phone, they’ll tell you that your Apple account or identity is under threat from an attack. They request sensitive information such as your password and username to correct the error. Some hackers reach you via a voicemail instead of calling you directly and redirect you to another number. When you call the number, you may find that they are impersonating customer service in a way that is too good to be fake. At the end of the waiting period, the person you encounter will request various information from you. However, Apple Customer Service will never contact you about such things unless you request them to. We call this, and similar phishing attacks voice phishing or vishing.
Hackers use this method in combination with fake bill fraud. They send you a notification when you enter your information on a fake Apple page where they refer you. The notification says that your account has been locked due to suspicious activity. To unlock your account, they may ask you for your name, Social Security number, bank account information, and answers to the security questions you have set. Sometimes hackers may tell via an iMessage message that your Apple ID is about to expire. To rectify the situation, they send you a fake form requesting your sensitive information. The expiration of Apple IDs is a complete lie. However, Apple can sometimes lock your Apple ID in questionable situations, but you can get your account back by calling Apple customer service directly.
How to Detect Phishing Attacks Against Apple IDs?
If you want to protect yourself against phishing attacks, the best way to do this is to detect an attack. However, as hackers have improved themselves and their methods in recent years, phishing attacks have become difficult to detect. So, how are phishing attacks on Apple IDs detected?
1. Hackers begin with a general appeal to phishing messages. In contrast, companies often address you with your full name in their official messages.
2. Hackers take advantage of your sense of urgency by communicating. Their attacks are often meant to put you in action, using an emergency as a fake excuse.
3. The messages are often full of spelling and grammar mistakes. Real e-mails sent by companies do not contain misspelling, as they go through many checks.
4. Phishing emails contain fake sender names. You can understand the sender’s e-mail address by moving your cursor over the sender’s name. Often hackers use addresses similar to Apple’s real address but are different by a letter or two or are complex letters and numbers.
Apple’s actual address for identifying communications is [email protected] Also, Apple will never ask you for your Apple ID information, personal information, credit card number, or anything related to your bank account. Besides, Apple includes your billing address on the original receipts.
What Can You Do About Phishing Attacks Against Apple IDs?
- Do not reply to any messages or e-mails or click links or attachments in the message until you are sure that the e-mail is legitimate.
- Do not answer calls that appear to come from Apple or rely on messages telling you to call a number.
- If there is a suspicious version, call Apple customer service.
- Take advantage of two-factor authentication to keep yourself more secure.
- Please take advantage of the Message Filtering service that Apple offers to its users in the Settings pane. The message filtering service detects messages from people you do not know and stores them in the “unknown senders” section.
- If you receive a suspicious post or a call from whom you do not know, report the situation by writing to [email protected]
- With these measures, reinforce your protection by using a good security practice.
- Train yourself and test your knowledge with the applications we offer you, such as Cyber Security Trainer, Phishing Simulator.
- Detect threats you face with Threat Sharing and Threat Intelligence applications and share them with your colleagues.