It’s something you’ve probably heard by now, but quite a few celebrities had some personal images of themselves stolen from their iCloud accounts and leaked on to the internet. While the topic of young, nude celebrities might garner some interest, that’s not really what we do here. No, instead we’re going to focus on the part that matters: how it was done.
For starters, I’m going to say that I am glad the images were stolen from an Apple system. I’m not saying this because I hate Apple, but because an alarmingly high number of Apple users adhere to poor personal security practices because “Apple is the most secure platform available”. A breach like this might give them a wake-up call and convince them to start using better security practices.
By all accounts, iCloud itself was not hacked. Nobody breached Apple’s security. Apple is still a secure platform. In fact, Apple offers a number of highly sophisticated security options for those who are willing to implement them, including a password strength checker, two-factor authentication, a fingerprint scanner, and 128-bit encryption. With all those options available, and probably more that I’m not aware of, it’s amazing to me that anyone had anything stolen from their iCloud. Then I realized that most of those features are not mandatory and require extra steps. Since people are generally lazy, they don’t implement, and they justify by saying “Apple is the most secure platform out there”.
I’m not going to suggest methods to make your files and data safer, as I have done that several times (here and here). What I am going to do is point out that this should be a lesson to everyone; a system is only secure if you make it secure. Apple can’t protect you if your password is 12345, and neither can any other company.
That’s it for this week! Share your thoughts about this security breech or any others you have in mind in the comments below. Also, feel free to ask us questions about your security practices and we’ll try to help you out as best we can. Have an awesome weekend!