The problem first came to light when Mashable published a report citing an employee whose Mac received a message written in Chinese from an unknown phone number. Soon thereafter, she was alerted that her Apple ID had been activated on another device; the only option to close the dialog box was to click the ‘OK’ button.
After hitting the ‘OK’ button, she received a number of texts and iMessages in Chinese. She promptly changed her Apple ID password and security questions.
But this was far from an isolated incident. Upon contacting Apple Support, she was informed that other Apple customers had encountered this issue; an Apple representative called this a likely attempt to steal the personal information of users and said that the company is working on creating a fix for this problem.
Apple has not publicly acknowledged this problem, though the company’s support team on Twitter directed affected customers to an official support page about identifying a compromised Apple ID and resetting the password.
Many others took to Twitter to air this problems:
Sooo.. My non-IPhone friends have been sending me screenshots... Apparently my Iphone is sending some Chinese message to people... HELP! pic.twitter.com/d3UjHFQSq4— ♛ Breyoncé ♛ (@BreannaSorensen) October 17, 2016
@AppleSupport iMessage on my Mac is sending my English texts in all Chinese characters, but only to non-iPhone users can u help me— ana gheo (@anagheo) October 13, 2016
While there is no official software release to fix this issue yet, it is best that customers set up two-factor authentication to keep their Apple accounts secure.