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What does the hack mean for your own cloud security?
Here are leaked sex pictures of your nude selfie-related questions answered. A of celebrities were targeted this week in an attack that exposed nude photos -- some said to be real, others fake -- stored in Apple iCloud s. Here's what we know and what it means about your own cloud security. Celebrities whose iCloud photos were leaked fell victim as a result of targeted attacks, according to the latest reports and information released by Apple.
This means the people who hacked into the s likely knew the addresses associated with the celebrity s or they were able to answer security questions that granted them access to the s. It's still unclear how the hackers might have known the answers to security questions and obtained the usernames for the s. It was thought hackers may have gained access to the iCloud s through a security hole in the online storage service's "Find My iPhone" feature which allowed them to conduct brute-force attacks.
With a brute-force attack, hackers use a script to automatically try many different username and password combinations in rapid succession until the correct combination is guessed. Apple patched this hole Tuesday morning and confirmed that this was not the method used by the hackers to log in to the celebrities' s. Contrary to popular belief, most celebrities use technology the same way as most other not-famous people. Apple, Google, and other major tech players don't necessarily give celebrities access to special security features.
If there were security-bolstering features available, we'd hope these companies would distribute them to all users, not just the privileged. Celebrities have the same security tools we do, so we're technically all equally vulnerable.
But, since their faces grace the covers of magazines and theater screens, they end up being targeted more often. Celebrities also don't always take advantage of security protocols that are available. For example, based on the information currently available, these celebrities might have been protected against the attacks if they were using two-step verification, which adds an extra step to the basic log-in procedure.
Cloud backup services like Apple's iCloud and Google's Instant are often enabled by default, so it's possible the photos were being ed to iCloud without the celebrities being aware. For example, iCloud's Photo Stream service automatically uplo photos you take on your Apple device and stores them in iCloud for 30 days. With Photo Stream ing enabled, those photos can be accessed from any device, no matter where you are in the world, using your iCloud credentials.
Even though you're not Brad Pitt or Cameron Diaz, it's a good time to review your own iCloud security. Photos aren't the only items stored in iCloud -- your contacts, iOS device's location, and notes may also be stored there. Here are some steps you can take:.
Enable two-step verification. The greatest defense against brute-force and targeted attacks is still two-step verification. It won't protect leaked sex pictures against issues like security holes, but it's still your best shield against targeted hacking, where someone is able to obtain your username or leaked sex pictures to your personal security questions to access an. When enabled, two-factor authentication adds a second level of authentication to an. One common example, is a code sent to a mobile device that must be used in addition to a username and password to log in to an.
Follow these steps to set up two-step verification for your Apple ID. Disappointingly, TechCrunch points out that Apple's two-step is really only deed to protect users against unauthorized credit cards purchasesbut it's still important to enable, especially if the company corrects this oversight.
Disable any services you don't actually use If the data doesn't exist in the first place, there's no reason to hack it. Do you even need Photo Stream or other iCloud services like contact-syncing? If not, disable these services. Then, into iCloud.
Consider using fake answers to security questions Was your mom born in Chicago? That's great, but you should probably use a different answer. Most recent reports suggest hackers used social engineering to learn answers to the celebrities' security questions, which ultimately gave them access to the s.
To prevent frenemies or hackers from getting into yourconsider using fake, random answers they'd never be able to discover. Do the same thing for other Web services While you're at it, consider repeating the same steps for other cloud services, including Dropbox, auto-backup on Android, or even Flickr. The more you minimize data automatically ed into the cloud, the greater control you'll have over your private information.
Editor's Note: Story was updated Wednesday at PST to reflect most recent reports on two-step verification and how the hackers accessed the s.
Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policywhich we encourage you to read. Discussion thre can be closed at any time at our discretion. How those nude photos were leaked and why you should care What does the hack mean for your own cloud security? Sharon Profis. Celebrities have the same security tools we do, so technically, we're all equally vulnerable.
How were the celebrities' s hacked? What about that security hole? I still don't understand. They're celebrities. Why would they store photos in the cloud in the first place? Related stories Apple: Celeb photo attack was targeted, not widespread breach Celebs, beware: Those nude selfies will be hacked and shared.
Discuss: How those nude photos were leaked and why you should care.Leaked sex pictures
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How those nude photos were leaked (and why you should care)