Ater an internal investigation, Apple is claiming that its iCloud and “Find my iPhone” services were not compromised, as previously suspected, in the recent mass leak of private celebrity photos.
The tech giant released an official media statement which read:
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 mobilised 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.
Hence, Apple is kinda suggesting that the celebrities who had their privacy blatantly invaded fell victim to social engineering on their accounts, rather than a technical hack aka iCloud/”Find my iPhone” hack.
As such, they confirmed that iCloud service users’ pictures are safe – provided the users have kept their passwords and security question answers secret. A two-factor authentication wouldn’t hurt either.
Having said that, Apple will have a tough time rebuilding user trust in iCloud. Significant damage to its reputation has already been done over the past couple of days. It also doesn’t help that Jennifer Lawrence herself previously complained about the iCloud service. She let slip during an MTV interview, “My iCloud keeps telling me to back it up, and I’m like, I don’t know how to back you up. Do it yourself.”
Also, let’s not forget that if it weren’t for this massive nude pictures leak, the flaw with the “Find my iPhone” service would probably not come to light. Okay, Apple, clean this one up.
Meanwhile, for those of you who use any virtual storage services e.g. iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, etc., stay safe and uncheck whatever’s necessary.