Celebrity iCloud Accounts Hacked

Are cloud services as safe as you think?

Celebrity iCloud Accounts Hacked

So today we hear of the hacking of celebrity cloud accounts and the resultant sharing of unauthorised nude images across the Internet via the 4Chan website. More specifically those celebrities using Apple’s iCloud seem to have been hit.

Who’s been hacked?

The names of Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunce, Kaley Cuoco and Kelly Brook appear on a list of over 100 celebrities who it is claimed have been hacked. Some celebrities have claimed the posted photos to be fake, whilst others have confirmed their authenticity. Some suggestions are that the accounts may have been hacked through a loophole in the Find My iPhone software using brute-force password hacking techniques or through sharing of password with other hacked services. It is very likely then, that unless these celebrities were deliberately targeted, other user accounts will have been compromised. But these of course would not have invited the same level of media interest.

Cloud photos

Many mobile users now subscribe to some kind of photo and video cloud backup service. In Apple’s case there are 320 million users worldwide. These services make sure any images created are immediately secured in the cloud through replication, often across multiple devices. Apple makes it easy with their iCloud service when you buy one of their products such as an iPhone .  In a few clicks you are signed up and ready to go. Any media item will be whisked away across an encrypted connection up to Apple’s servers where it is stored unencrypted for “safe keeping”. If you don’t buy adipex paypal have an Apple device, but have, for example an Android, you may use one of the other myriad of services such as Dropbox, Google Drive or Sugarsync which can synchronise content to the cloud each time you feel creative. The great thing about these services is that you can quickly have a backup solution from which to restore your content should your phone be lost, broken or stolen.

Not really safe is it?

However. what this exposure of these photos and videos capturing intimate moments with your loved one does underline is that clouds are simply not safe. No service is guaranteed to be totally safe. Read your service’s terms and conditions. Google admitted a flaw in June this year and Dropbox back in May also found a security issue. Whatever you put into the cloud is always going to be there with some element of risk. How much you perceive that risk to be will depend on your understanding of the risks, the type of content you store and to some degree if you consider yourself a worthy target. Clearly targeting those in the public eye gets a lot of publicity for the hacker.

At this point though, it is unclear if any of the services used really were at fault or it was simply a case of passwords not being carefully administered. Ensuring your password hygiene is one of those tasks that shouldn’t be taken lightly if you want your private data to stay private. Read our tips on passwords.

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