Hacker(s) Break into Private Apple iCloud Accounts – How to Protect YOUR Privacy
Using a brute-force hacking method (NextWeb), a hacker broke into the Apple iCloud accounts of 101 celebrities, posting actual and fake nude photos on Web. More than 320 million people use iCloud, which automatically backs up photos, emails, contacts, documents, videos and other files for iPhones, iPads and MacBooks unless you turn it off. The FBI is investigating the incident and as of 6:47 AM ET this morning, Apple has not been able to assure users that their information is fully protected now. A company spokesperson released a statement that Apple takes user privacy issues very seriously.
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How the Hacker Got Access to Nude Celebrity Photos via iCloud Accounts
According to NextWeb, it appears that the hacker used a brute force trial-and-error technique used to get clear text passwords from encypted data. This would then give the hacker access to to login credentials and pretend to be the user. The hacker may have exploited a bug in the Apple ‘Find my iPhone’ service.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Privacy and Your Files?
- Don’t be Naive. Simply stop taking nude photos of yourself or others with any device that can be store your data online. Eventually someone WILL get access to this information. But if you must take nude photos or store any sensitive information online, continue reading.
- Turn of the Automatic Cloud Back-Up Setting. Whether on iCloud, Google Drive, DropBox, etc. you have the option to turn off the automatic back-up to the “cloud” (refers to computer server where your data is automatically stored). For changing your settings, for iCloud go here. For Google Android Drive backup you can go here. You can also simply delete those sensitive from the cloud.
- Use STRONG Passwords and a Two-Step-Verification Process. To improve the odds of not having your account hacked, use strong passwords with lots of funky symbols and numbers. For example the letter ‘S’ is written with a ’5′ or ‘$” and an ‘E’ is written with the number ’3.’ Replace your pass-words with pass-numbers and pass-symbols to reduce the risk of having your password hacked. For example, instead of using a password like ‘graham’, use ’9r@h@m.’ Also take advantage of two-step verification in which you will have a back-up cell phone and or email account that Apple, Google, Dropbox and others can use to verify that it is actually YOU trying to get into your account whenever anything suspicious occurs.