Table of contents
- Is it possible to get ransomware on iPhones and iPads?
- How to detect ransomware on your iPhone or iPad
- How to remove ransomware from your iPhone or iPad
- 1. Isolate infected devices
- 2. Learn what kind of ransomware your device has
- 3. Remove ransomware from your device
- 4. Recover encrypted files
- How to avoid ransomware
- Take control of your devices
Is it possible to get ransomware on iPhones and iPads?
It’s possible to get ransomware on your iPhone or iPad, just as you can get it on your MacBook or laptop.
Hackers know that you keep personal and important information on your devices:
- Work-related files
- Banking apps
- Personal documents containing sensitive information like your social security information, home address, IDs, and more.
That’s why they are interested in taking over your iPhone or iPad—they know you always need to have access to this information, and that you need it protected at all times. Therefore, they can use it to get a few thousand dollars from you.
Having said that, a lot of situations that seem like ransomware demands are actually scams designed to scare you into coughing up your hard-earned cash, so beware of those.
For example, a hacker will leave a message for you in your browser and demand payment to give you access to your device again, even though you aren’t locked out of it.
It’s an old yet effective trick that many people fall for. That’s why it’s important to know the difference.
How to detect ransomware on your iPhone or iPad
As with most threats to your devices, you can remove ransomware on your iPhone or iPad, but you’ll have to check for it first.
Consider these common telltale signs to check for ransomware on your mobile Apple device…
1. You’re getting a lot of pop-ups
This is one of the most common indicators that your device has been compromised. Pop-ups are common, but when you notice a lot more of them than normal, your iPhone or iPad probably has ransomware on it
2. You’ve jailbroken your iPhone
We’re all guilty of bypassing the App Store to download an app we really want. While this can be harmless in some cases, it can wreak havoc on your device’s security because it can open the door for hackers to hold your iPhone at ransom
3. Your iPhone or iPad is overheating
If your device is overheating, even though it hasn’t been exposed to direct sunlight and your battery is in tip-top condition, a virus could be the culprit
4. You can’t access your browsers
Hackers may lock you out of your browsers and demand bitcoin payment to restore access
5. You’re locked out of your device
This is the most obvious way to tell there’s ransomware on your iPhone or iPad, and that it’s at the point of no return. You might see a red flag or image on the screen, along with a note with instructions on how to pay the ransom
There are many more ways to tell if your mobile device is infected. And using cybersecurity software makes that so much easier.
Clario is a comprehensive protection tool that can detect ransomware on your iPhone or iPad. You can use it to check for hacks within moments by following the steps below.
- Download Clario on your iPhone
- Tap Device on the Home page
- Check the iOS hack check section. It should tell you if your device has any jailbreaks
Clario is the solution you need to keep your iPhone protected from hacks and their consequences.
How to remove ransomware from your iPhone or iPad
Fortunately, you can remove viruses like ransomware from your iOS or iPadOS device, just as you can on your MacOS device.
1. Isolate infected devices
When your iPhone or iPad is infected with ransomware, your first course of action should be to prevent it from spreading to other devices.
- Disconnect your iPhone or iPad from your internet
- Check your other devices for ransomware as well to ascertain if the hackers have gotten to them, too
2. Learn what kind of ransomware your device has
It always helps to know exactly what you’re dealing with, so you can be better equipped to fix the problem. That’s because, in many cases, the methods of removing different types of ransomware can differ.
To that end, it’s a good idea to find out what kind of ransomware your iPhone or iPad has first before removing it.
While you can try to identify the type of ransomware on your device by researching the symptoms or making use of community forums like Reddit, these methods don't yield the most accurate results and can be misleading.
A more effective solution is No More Ransom’s ransomware identification tool, Crypto Sheriff. The platform uses the information you input to identify the type of ransomware on your device. Here’s how to use it:
- Go to https://www.nomoreransom.org/crypto-sheriff.php in your browser
- Select Choose first file from PC. Don’t let this throw you off, you can upload files from your iPhone or iPad using this option
- Now tap the relevant category from which you want to upload a file and proceed
- Now upload a second file by tapping the Choose second file from PC option and following the same steps as above
Here are some common types of ransomware used by cyber thieves:
- Filecoders, a.k.a. encrypting ransomware
- Locker ransomware or screen lockers
- Crypto ransomware
- Doxware or doxing ransomware
Cyber thieves can use any one or more of these to infect your iPhone or iPad as part of a shakedown.
3. Remove ransomware from your device
Once you’ve figured out that your device is infected with malicious software, you can proceed to remove the ransomware from your iPhone or iPad.
The method needed to remove the ransomware depends on the type of ransomware found on your device. If you’re unsure of what to do, consider enlisting the help of a professional.
Get in touch with a cybersecurity expert, as they are experienced in tackling ransomware and will most likely do a more thorough job than you could ever do.
However, if you receive a suspicious-looking invoice or order confirmation via SMS or email and you know you haven’t ordered anything, that’s smishing, not ransomware. In such cases, simply ignore the message and take no action against it, as there’s probably no risk involved.
4. Recover encrypted files
The final step in addressing any malware on your mobile Apple device is to recover encrypted files.
The first way to do this is by restoring your system and backed-up files. This should work if the files you’re restoring were created before the last backup date.
You can either restore your files from an iCloud backup or from a backup on your computer.
The second way to recover encrypted files is by using a decryption tool like No More Ransom, which we mentioned earlier in the article. This tool has a fix for various types of ransomware, so you’re likely to recover your encrypted files using this route.
How to avoid ransomware
Now that you know how much of a hassle managing ransomware can be, you can prevent it from showing up on your devices.
- Avoid downloading apps that are not supported by the App Store
- Never open suspicious links and email attachments
- Don’t click on sketchy ads
- Never give out your personal information
- Try to use your own USB sticks—don’t use anyone else’s
- Keep your iPhone and iPad’s operating systems up-to-date
- Use a reliable and effective VPN service when browsing the internet
If you’re lucky enough to have not been hacked, ensure you do what you can to prevent it from happening. Protect yourself from hackers by securing your iPhone to limit the chances of it being compromised.
Take control of your devices
The last thing anyone would want is to fall victim to any kind of malware. Be proactive and check your devices for these, including ransomware, so you can take action ASAP if needed.