Apple to Increase iCloud Security Following Celebrity Photo Leak

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Apple executives are making efforts to increase iCloud security, as was revealed on Thursday by CEO Timothy D. Cook. The increased security measures come four days after a possible breach in the company’s security led to intimate photographs of several high-profile female celebrities being spread across the internet.

The new security features are said to include push notifications when a user’s iCloud password is attempted to be changed, when an attempt is made to log in to a user’s iCloud from a new location, and when a user’s iCloud backup is attempted to be uploaded onto another device or platform. Only the third privacy measure is actually brand new to Apple devices, as users were previously provided with email notifications in regards to the attempted password change and the different location log-in. However, these features will be upgraded by way of the aforementioned push notifications on the user’s device. The updated features are said to be scheduled for addition in two weeks time.

Following the leaked celebrity photographs, questions were raised regarding the level of Apple security and how legitimate it actually was in regards to hackers and scammers gaining entry to the private content and personal information stored in user’s devices. There was suggestions that there had been a breach of security in the iCloud servers themselves, thus allowing the security of this content and information to be compromised. Actress Kirsten Dunst, who was one of the victims of the celebrity photo hack, took to social media to share her view that the incident occurred because of iCloud. After a reported 40 hour investigation, however, Apple reported that there had been no findings related to a security breach on iCloud’s part, thus meaning that the information had to be accessed in a different form.

Executives at the company gave the statement that access to the photographs seemed to be more likely gained through phishing and other means of hacking, such as guessing the answers to security questions and being aware of user’s personal details that can be used to access their device. Although they remain adamant that the breach was not Apple’s fault, they did agree that iCloud’s privacy features should be reviewed and updated accordingly.

The legitimacy of iCloud’s security features is one that has been questioned since the implementation of the online storage server in 2011. The server has faced criticism for many reasons, most significantly the accidental sharing of personal files. Many users have complained that even though the feature is supposed to be turned off on their Apple devices, the setting does not stick and a personal photograph or the like is shared with the user’s associates, either through their contact list or any social media sites they have connected to the device. There have also been complaints regarding third-party bugs, which have caused the storage feature to be rendered completely unusable in the past.

It remains to be seen whether or not the new security measures Apple has assigned to the iCloud server will be an improvement. However, company executives remain adamant that they are taking the best interests of users to heart when it comes to this matter.

by Rebecca Grace
New York Times
Wall Street Journal
Business Inside

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