You may have read about the incident in Australia where some iPhones were remote locked and the owners got a ransom note by e-mail.
This appears to be a case of someone guessing or working out an Apple ID password, then locking the iPhone associated with that Apple ID. iCloud was not hacked.
The solution is easy. It's the same solution for any case where your iPhone gets locked and you can't unlock it:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1212?view ... cale=en_US
This requires that you have a recent backup of the phone, which of course you will because you sync with iTunes. (Don't you?)
The issue of passwords for Apple ID passwords is a bit problematic. You need to type in your Apple ID and password so often that the password has to be something you can remember and can type in a reasonable amount of time. But it still should not be the same as the password you use elsewhere. And it should be reasonably long. Remember, length is the primary strength of any password, as long as it's not an easily guessable phrase.
Discussion of non-operating system issues related to iPods, iPhones, and the iPod Touch.
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