Apple iCloud Hacked? Nude Celeb Photos Stolen from iCloud Accounts?

Unless you live under a rock or had a few margaritas too many this Labor Day weekend you would have read or heard about the theft of some very personal and risqué photos of some of the sexiest celebs – including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Mary Kate Olsen, Hillary Duff and Ariana Grande – and release of these photos across the web on sites including 4chan, Twitter and Reddit. The FBI, celeb lawyers and publicists are already involved in investigating the theft and damage control.

The online rumor mill is swirling and most fingers are pointing to Cupertino, California claiming the theft was the result of the hacking of the celebs’ Apple iCloud accounts. In response to the rumors, Apple released the following statement:

“We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report.”

– Natalie Kerris, Apple Spokeswoman

It is rumored that the celeb photos (and some unreleased videos) were stolen using a “brute force” hack of the celebs iCloud accounts. A “brute force” hack is, in essence, repeatedly guessing a users password using hacking software or trained monkeys.  More information on “brute force” hacks is available at:

The rumors of how the theft occurred are by no means conclusive. At least one of the purportedly hacked celebs reports that she uses the Android OS, which cannot use Apple’s iCloud service and which indicates that the photos may not be the result of an iCloud hack.

Security experts have also weighed in to say the hack could have possibly been prevented (umm….a little late?) if:

  1. Apple fixed a glitch that resulted in accounts not being locked after too many failed password attempts.
  2. The affected celebs had enabled two-factor authentication on their iCloud account.
  3. A psychic told the celebs about the impending hack.
  4. Marty McFly traveled back from the future to inform the victims.

From online news and reports, it seems likely that the celeb photos and videos were stolen over an extended period of time and traded by hackers on the dark web with the photos and videos now being released on the web that we all know and love for an anonymous hacker to make a profit. The hacker is reportedly requesting payment in bitcoins for the additional photos and videos.

Some of the celeb victims have responded on Twitter to the release of the photos:

Regardless of where the celebs stored their photos and videos and how the hacker stole them, the theft and disclosure brings to light a very real and serious issue — will your health and fitness data be safe in the cloud? With Apple and others betting big on health and fitness and with developers, doctors and medical facilities having access to personal health data stored on a users device (and backed up in the cloud) is enough being done to protect users’ data from hackers and misuse? It is clear that hackers will not abide by Apple’s updated privacy policy. Therefore, Apple and others must take serious steps to proactively protect your personal health and fitness data (including the high-profile celebrity users) from disclosure, misuse and modification.

At the moment, Apple has a real PR nightmare with an important product launch on the horizon. Under the prior leadership of the late-Steve Jobs Apple was superb at spinning bad news and “neuralizing” its customers memories of these types of events.

However, with hackers threatening to leak more stolen photos and videos of additional big-name celebs and with rumors pointing the finger at Apple, this is one nightmare that Apple may not wake up from any time soon. Apple (and all other companies that may be implicated in this recent theft) will need to work quickly to investigate the theft and fix any vulnerabilities that allowed the theft to occur. Further, Apple and every other tech company will need to work very hard to assure their customers that their health and fitness data (and scandalous photos and videos) is safe and secure in the cloud.

I personally hope that law enforcement catches the creeps that invaded these celebs privacy and punishes them to the fullest extent of the law to dissuade such unlawful conduct in the future. We can only wait to see what will happen.

Come back to for updates on the status and results of the investigation and other fitness and health news and information.

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