As many celebrities scramble to do damage control over hundreds of leaked photos, many of them nude, technology giant Apple is trying to ascertain how the breach of its cloud-based storage and backup service, iCloud, occurred. While it hasn’t been confirmed yet, it is suspected that the hacker stole the compromising images by hacking the celebrities’, including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, iCloud accounts.
“We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report,” Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris told news website Re/Code.
The hack has been describes as being the biggest celebrity hack in recent memory, enough to trigger a response from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – which has assisted with celebrity hacks and leaks in the past.
“The FBI is aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter. … Any further comment would be inappropriate at this time,” the investigation unit said in a media statement.
The Verge details how hackers might have used a programmed called iBrute, which tries multiple password combinations to Apple’s Find My Phone feature to infiltrate the celebrities’ accounts after having acquired their mail addresses from another source.
“Once Find My iPhone is breached, it is possible to access iCloud passwords and view images and other data stored in a user’s iCloud account. Apple had previously allowed an unlimited number of password attempts on the Find My iPhone service, but it has since limited it to five attempts, making the iBrute tool ineffective,” they wrote.
The ‘masterlist’ of the celebrities who had images leaked is well over 100, but only a small portion of the list has been leaked to online posting site 4Chan. While some celebrities have denied that the images are legitimate, others have taken to social media to voice their disgust.[Source – Re/Code, image – CC by 2.0/Mingle MediaTV]