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Has iCloud Been Hacked Again? The Simple Thing to Prevent It

Sep 22 2014 - 10:20am

A second round of nude celebrity photos has leaked [1], and this time the targets include Kim Kardashian, Gabrielle Union, and Rihanna, among others. Over Labor Day weekend, the first set of hacked nude photos from stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst, and Kate Upton spread across the web [2]. Many people, including the celebrities themselves, have blamed security flaws in Apple's iCloud system for letting hackers access the images.

There has been no confirmation that Apple was to blame, but the company said it was "actively investigating" the violation of its iCloud accounts. And some security experts believe [4] the leaks could have been prevented if the iCloud's two-factor authentication had been turned on. Apple beefed up its security [5] as a response to the renewed concern.

Earlier this year, in March, Apple added the two-step verification [6] for all Apple ID and iCloud users. The security feature prompts users to enter their Apple username and password, plus an additional verification code sent via text message to one of their devices.


You can enable two-step verification by signing in with your Apple ID at appleid.apple.com [7]. Then go to Password and Security, and follow the instructions at the top of the page.

As evidenced by the nude photo leak, setting up extra measures to protect your information is of the utmost importance in today's increasingly digital age. When iCloud was introduced in 2011 [8], we loved that the cloud-based service provided a free storage and syncing solution for our Apple devices. But with so much of our data automatically uploaded to the web, the service makes all of us — not just celebrities — more vulnerable to privacy predators.

At a 2013 MacWorld session on how to toughen smartphone security, Jacqui Cheng, former senior Apple editor at Ars Technica [9], told a frightening tale of how her friend, after breaking up with his partner of 20 years, was stalked — and how iPhone location data, accessed through iCloud, made it possible. After her friend's traumatic experience with his ex, Jacqui investigated exactly how iCloud could put your privacy in danger and offered these safety tips for all iCloud users in light of this recent hacking.

First, Change Your Passwords

Second, Understand How Apps Interact With iCloud

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