Taken alone, each of these things is considered incredibly cool. And increasingly necessary. Staples of modern American digital life, if you will.
When you pair them together to create something called (naturally) “iCloud”…what could possibly go wrong?
Apparently a lot. Especially if you’re a sexy celebrity.
According to recent reports, the world’s second-biggest brand was recently sent scrambling, forced to investigate weaknesses and shortcomings floating within iCloud.
Why? Well, it seems that the service was recently exploited by those always exploitive and ever-creative hackers, who reportedly cracked their way into the private iCloud accounts of several sexy celebrities – infiltrating the information of possibly more than 100 female starlets, according to some estimations.
That wasn’t enough for the hackers, of course, who then went on to publish a variety of nude photos and videos of their victims, who reportedly included big-time names like actress Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton.
A posting on online code-sharing site GitHub claimed the group of hackers had discovered a bug in the Find My iPhone service – which tracks the location of a missing phone and allows a user to remotely disable the phone. According to this account, the bug allowed an outside user to repeatedly enter password combinations, rather than limiting the amount of attempts as most cyber security protocols now dictate.
Some media outlets have claimed a “brute force service” called (wait for it…) “iBrute” was used to gain access to the celebrities’ passwords, thereby providing them with access to photos and videos stored in their private and individual iCloud accounts.
The vulnerability has since been patched up by Apple, but the fixes didn’t come until after some rather deep damage – and severe violations of privacy – had been perpetrated. It appears that it was individual users, not the iCloud service, that were hacked. But nonetheless, this is obviously a very, very public cyber security breach that will greatly affect trust in cloud services in general and iCloud in particular.
While the general public – including many average American celebrities – clearly tended to view the cloud as safe by default (thanks largely to huge names and brands such as Apple being behind many cloud offerings), the cloud is only as safe as the services that rest upon it. In this particular case, the Find My iPhone service had some serious cyber security issues. Obviously, the only foolproof way to avoid a breach like this is to not use the cloud to store files.
Don’t hold your breath for many people to go that route, however. The use of the cloud and cloud services will almost surely continue to grow, but this cautionary tale serves as a powerful reminder and wakeup call that not even the biggest services are truly foolproof – and that each and every individual user must take steps to properly protect themselves.
Here at Be Different Solutions, we’ve blogged before about the inherent and increasingly common risks to consumers’ cyber security.
The same principle applies to brands and businesses, of course – something which Apple was recently rudely reminded of when the silver lining was striped right off its shiny new iCloud.
Of course, there are certain steps you can take to protect the privacy and interests of yourself and your business in today’s uncertain online world. One of those steps involves hiring the right people to manage your IT and technical support needs.
At Be Different Solutions, you can rest assured that all of our technical support people are not only qualified, motivated and responsible – but also situated in one of our two U.S.- or Europe-based offices. We believe that having our people work from one central location dramatically and immediately enhances and promotes security, performance and overall accountability.
Drop us a line today. And see how we and our team of dedicated technical support professionals can make sure you and your business don’t get caught with your pants down. Regardless of your level of celebrity.