Apple Releases Statement on iCloud Celeb Photo Hacks
When hundreds of stolen personal celebrity photos hit the Internet on Sunday, Aug. 31, a lot of shock and outrage ensued, but also a lot of questions were raised as well.
The biggest one? How did hackers get access to personal files from the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and several others?
One hacker on the anonymous message board 4chan claimed that a circle of people were able to successfully access celebrities’ iCloud accounts. ICloud is Apple’s cloud service that automatically syncs photos and media across all of your Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads and MacBooks.
Apple has released a statement saying that they’ve conducted a personal investigation and found no instances of a security leak.
Rather, they say, the celebrities’ accounts were compromised through brute force password tactics (ie. using computers to generate every random combination of characters until you get the password right) or successfully answering security questions correctly.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Sept. 2, Apple says:
We wanted to provide an update to our investigation into the theft of photos of certain celebrities. When we learned of the theft, we were outraged and immediately mobilized Apple’s engineers to discover the source. Our customers’ privacy and security are of utmost importance to us. After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet. None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud® or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.
To protect against this type of attack, we advise all users to always use a strong password and enable two-step verification. Both of these are addressed on our website at http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4232.
The F.B.I. has reportedly been brought in to investigate the source behind the alleged leaks of celebrity nude photos.