(credit: Lookout)
Ransomware scammers have been exploiting a flaw in Apple’s Mobile Safari browser in a campaign to extort fees from uninformed users.

The scammers particularly target those who viewed porn or other controversial content.

Apple patched the vulnerability on Monday with the release of iOS version 10.3.
The flaw involved the way that Safari displayed JavaScript pop-up windows.
In a blog post published Monday afternoon, researchers from mobile-security provider Lookout described how exploit code surreptitiously planted on multiple websites caused an endless loop of windows to be displayed in a way that prevented the browser from being used.

The attacker websites posed as law-enforcement actions and falsely claimed that the only way users could regain use of their browser was to pay a fine in the form of an iTunes gift card code to be delivered by text message.
In fact, recovering from the pop-up loop was as easy as going into the device settings and clearing the browser cache.

This simple fix was possibly lost on some uninformed targets who were too uncomfortable to ask for outside help.
“The attackers effectively used fear as a factor to get what they wanted before the victim realized that there was little actual risk,” Lookout researchers Andrew Blaich and Jeremy Richards wrote in Monday’s post.
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