UPDATE: Apple’s iCloud IS NOT the Source of Hacked Celeb Photos

(Updated: 9/3/2014 @ 7:49 AM)
As an update to our previous post relating to rumors that Apple’s iCloud was hacked and celeb photos stolen from their accounts —
Apple’s investigation determined that iCloud was not breached by the hacker(s) who posted nude photos of celebs on the web. Apple reports that iCloud was not responsible for the theft and release of the celeb photos nor were flaws in Apple’s “Find my iPhone” utility.

Upon learning of the theft of celeb photos, Apple was outraged and immediately mobilized its engineers to determine the source, noting that Apple’s “customers’ privacy and security are of utmost importance to [Apple].” Even though Apple determined it was not the source of the hack, Apple continues to work with law enforcement to identify the cause and perpetrators of the hacks.

It is great to learn that Apple appreciates the seriousness of the hack and promptly took steps to determine whether its services were the source of the leak. It is also great that even though Apple was not the source of the celeb photos Apple continues to work with law enforcement.

In response to the hacking, Apple is encouraging its users to use stronger passwords that have at least eight characters with one number, one letter, one capital letter and not using a password you used in the prior year. Apple also wants its customers to enable two-factor authentication, which means that after you enter your Apple password a code will be sent to your mobile phone that you then need to enter to gain access to your account. However, security researchers report on Ars Technica that two-factor verification may not increase the security of or protect your photos, videos and other data you store on iCloud. Regardless, you should enable two-factor verification as recommended by Apple to protect your iCloud data and other online accounts. Apple is not the only company that offers two-step verification. For a list of other sites that offer two-factor authentication head over to TwoFactorAuth.org.

It is great to see Apple promptly mobilize engineers to determine  the source of the hacked celeb photos and keeping its customers in the loop. Apple needs to keep security and privacy in the forefront as it launches new products and services (such as Healthkit, Health app and its digital wallet), all of which will require iOS users to trust Apple with sensitive health and fitness data.

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