Now, a mother from Cochrane, Alberta, has been struggling to regain control of her online accounts after they were hacked by cybercriminals who infiltrated her devices through a gaming app.
Apps on Apple’s App Store are carefully vetted, and Apple ensures that the apps that make their way to the App Store are free of known malware and haven’t been tampered with. Apple says all of the App Store apps are ‘Sandboxed,’ which means they can only access certain resources and programs that are necessary for their functioning.
However, Wolf Online 2, an animal-themed game, reportedly bypassed Apple’s vetting system, and it is still up on the App Store.
Susanne Jarman downloaded the game for her nine-year-old daughter on her iPad. Jarman also installed the app on her own iPad to join her daughter in the game.
Soon after, Jarman encountered some suspicious players who tried to manipulate her and her daughter’s actions in the game. “There was a time where there was a screen sharing almost, my character dispersed and he was telling us ‘don’t move,'” Jarman told CTV News Calgary.
Jarman soon deleted the app but subsequently discovered a new shared folder in her notes app that contained all her financial files. The hackers had already accessed her iCloud account and changed her Apple ID username and password. They also breached every other account she had, including her banking, tax, and email accounts, and even stole her photos of her late husband, which she cherished dearly.
Jarman has been trying to recover her accounts for the last eight months but has been unsuccessful. She has resorted to living without the Internet until the situation can be resolved. “It is so hard to go back to the 1990s, people don’t want to do that. You go to a place and they ask for your email address and I don’t have one that’s secure,” she explained.
Apple says it is investigating the situation and advises its users to follow its guidelines on Apple ID and iCloud security. It currently has not been confirmed if Wolf Online 2 was the culprit here.
Read the complete report here.