It starts with your iPhone emitting a loud tone. Then, on the screen you will see a message that reads "Device hacked by Oleg Pliss." Then you are instructed to send $100 to unlock the phone, and the hacker gives you an email address to send confirmation of your payment.
The attack appears to work by compromising iCloud accounts associated with the disabled devices. The hackers are able to remotely lock connected devices using Apple's 'Find my iPhone' service. But it's not clear yet just how they are compromising the iCloud accounts.
Officials with Apple have not yet commented on the report of the hackings and it doesn't appear the hijackings are a result of any of Apple's servers being compromised. So, that leaves it up to individual users to figure out how to better secure their phone.
It's called a 'ransomware' scam and it has popped up before on personal computers. It happened to one businessman who's data was held ransom for $3000 and an additional $1000 for every day he didn't pay them.
He never did pay them and lost all of his store's data. With the iPhone 'ransomware', people with a locked device should immediately try changing the credentials for their Apple ID and ensure two-factor authentication is set up.
The identities of the people behind the attack are unknown. There's no indication they have any connection to anyone named Oleg Pliss.
So far, the majority of the cases that have surfaced have hit iPhone users in Australia.