There's something strange happening to iPhone owners this morning.
When people woke up and picked up their iPhones on Tuesday (Nov. 13), some of them discovered their handsets displaying a message saying their Apple ID had been locked, 9to5Mac is reporting. It's unclear how widespread the problem is and how far-reaching it might be, but 9to5Mac said that it's received "many reports" from people about the issue.
If you see the Apple ID lock screen, you can regain access by answering security questions. You'll also need to input a phone number you trust, which will be used to validate it's really you unlocking your Apple ID. In some cases, according to 9to5Mac, folks have been forced to reset their passwords.
It's unclear from the report what might be causing the problem. According to 9to5Mac, the people who have seen it didn't do anything out of the ordinary with their phones. Instead, they simple received a warning, telling them that their Apple ID settings would need to be updated. During the locking period, they lost access to iMessage, iCloud, and Apple Music, effectively making the iPhone far less useful until the Apple ID was unlocked.
Apple hasn't commented on the problem and at least so far, there is no known cause or fix other than to input information and verify your identity. 9to5Mac questioned whether the problem is being caused by malicious hackers conducting brute-force attacks on Apple IDs to try and steal information, but so far, at least, there's no confirmation that's the case.
For now, then, you'll want to keep a close eye on your Apple ID and see if anything odd goes on. If it does, answering security questions and verifying your identity would be the best way to address it and move forward.
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Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.