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Nude celebrity photos linked to 'very targeted attack' on Apple iCloud credentials

Antone Gonsalves | Sept. 4, 2014
Apple says celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, and not a compromise of iCloud systems.

People who delete photos on their phones often do not realize that they remain in the cloud until deleted from the service separately, experts say.

"With today's devices being very keen to push data to their own respective cloud services, people should be careful that sensitive media isn't automatically uploaded to the web, or other paired devices," Chris Boyd, malware intelligence analyst at Malwarebytes, said. "People should also investigate the deletion procedures for online storage."

To bolster security in general when cloud services are involved, experts recommend using a unique password for every site, choosing security questions only known to the user and taking advantage of two-factor authentication whenever it is offered.

Also, because no cloud service is 100 percent safe, experts recommend that people avoid storing potentially embarrassing photos.

"You could also argue that smartphones, which are continually connected to the Internet, are not the best place for nude pictures," Boyd said.

For businesses, the latest privacy breach is a reminder that organizations need to determine whether any executives have photos or anything else online that could be potentially embarrassing or taint the organization's brand, Rick Holland, analyst for Forrester Research said.

Companies should also educate executives on the risk associated with online services. In addition, executive protection services are available to help determine the safety of online activities.

"I think organizations are largely blind to the enterprise risks associated with consumer cloud technology," Holland said. "Security groups need to inventory the technologies used by their high-value targets, so they can understand the risk picture better."


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