celebrity nudes Stories October 17, 2017

The celebrity nude ‘hack’ back in 2014 focused attention on the risks involved in having intimate photographs stored on your phone – and especially on cloud servers like iCloud. While our suspicions were correct that it wasn’t a hack at all, it did illustrate that poor security can put photos at risk.

A new app aims to automatically scan your iPhone for nudes, moving them to a protected vault in the app and then deleting them from both the camera roll and iCloud …

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celebrity nudes Stories October 28, 2016

Hacker behind iCloud celebrity nudes incident sentenced to 18 months in prison

The hacker who gained access to numerous celebrity iCloud accounts in order to obtain nude photos has been sentenced to 18 months in prison in a plea bargain deal.

celebrity nudes Stories March 17, 2016

When the celebrity nudes story broke back in 2014, it was headline news in the mainstream media. The story was that ‘iCloud had been hacked.’ The truth, of course, was a little different. As we suspected at the time, and Apple later confirmed, the ‘hack’ wasn’t really any such thing. A combination of two techniques were used to gain access to the iCloud accounts.

First, phishing: sending emails designed to look like they were from Apple asking the celebrities to login to their accounts, and directing them to a fake website made to look like the real thing. Second, guessing the answers to security questions – something easier to do with celebrities given the amount of biographical information available in the public domain.

That’s not to say Apple was entirely blameless. iCloud did not, at the time, offer two-factor authentication. Given that an iCloud backup is a near-complete copy of all the data stored on an iPhone, that was something which should have been included from the start. But the bottom-line is that iCloud itself wasn’t really hacked in any meaningful sense of the word.

It was this week confirmed that phishing was the approach taken by the main offender in this case. In other words, nothing whatsoever to do with iCloud security. This news hasn’t resulted in a single headline in the mainstream media. The average non-tech person out there still believes ‘iCloud was hacked’ …

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celebrity nudes Stories January 14, 2015

More than four months after Tim Cook promised emailed login alerts and the reintroduction of two-factor authentication in the wake of the high-profile celebrity iCloud hacks, five Apple logins remain unprotected by the system. Hackers of NY founder Dani Grant used videos to demonstrate each of the vulnerabilities in a blog post.

Grant showed that two-factor authentication isn’t needed when using an unknown Mac to login to iMessage, iTunes, FaceTime, the App Store or Apple’s website. According to Grant, only one of the five services sent an email notification advising that an unknown device was used to log in …  expand full story

celebrity nudes Stories September 25, 2014

The software developer credited by Apple for discovering last year’s developer center flaw says that he informed Apple of an iCloud weakness that may have been used to obtain celebrity nudes more than six months before the photos were accessed.

The Daily Dot reports that Ibrahim Balic advised Apple in March of a Find My Phone weakness that would allow brute-force attacks on iCloud accounts. It has been suggested that this may have been one of the methods used to access the accounts – or even complete iPhone backups – of celebrities …  expand full story

celebrity nudes Stories September 18, 2014

Apple briefs Congress in its continuing effort to promote its privacy credentials

Politico reports that Apple briefed a Congressional committee on the security and privacy of its products following concerns raised by the celebrity nudes story.

A week after Apple rolled out new products that track users’ health and fitness, the company dispatched its executives to Capitol Hill to address emerging privacy and security concerns […]

Bud Tribble, the company’s chief technology officer, and Afshad Mistri, its health product manager, briefed the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, according to three congressional sources.

Apple is clearly focusing on communicating its commitment to securing user data. Tim Cook yesterday published a letter on the company’s website addressing the issue. Apple also added a new webpage specifically focusing on the security credentials of iOS, OS X and its cloud services.

While it now appears clear that the methods used to obtain celebrity nudes from iCloud were a combination of phishing and weak security questions rather than any fundamental weakness in the service itself, Apple will be keenly aware that perceptions matter as much as, if not more than, facts.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

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