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iCloud: security risk?

Stefan Hammond | Aug. 16, 2012
Apple's iCloud service, which was recently forced upon former-users of (including myself), has not proven to be a shiny seamless service. Many tech journos complain that iCloud doesn't represent the user-experience associated with Cupertino's decades-long tradition as a quality-brand.

The man has a point. And while he mostly blames himself for failing to back up critical data, he reserves bitter ire for Apple's evolution into iCloud. "I bought into the Apple account system originally to buy songs at 99 cents a pop, and over the years that same ID has evolved into a single point of entry that controls my phones, tablets, computers and data-driven life," wrote Honan. "With this AppleID, someone can make thousands of dollars of purchases in an instant, or do damage at a cost that you can't put a price on."

As we have sown, so have we reaped. The iTunes store that gleefully sold us catchy pop-tunes has morphed into a multi-armed octopus with a permanent target painted on it. A single point-of-entry is also a single point-of-failure. The two-factor authentication mandated for banks by the HKMA is available on Gmail, but Honan didn't use it (do you?).

We can only hope that the folks at Apple--now the world's largest technology company--are putting security-systems in place to help prevent what happened to Honan to the rest of its users. In the wake of this incident, both Apple and Amazon have hardened their security procedures and no longer allow password-changes over the phone (this was part of the social-engineering hack that allowed strangers to remote-wipe Honan's phone, tablet, and laptop).



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