Apple: iCloud not breached in nude celebrity photo leaks

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No one knows yet if this is how hackers leaked nude photos of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and others. But accessing their backup was the most likely way they found the photos, given the circumstances.

For instance, Hollywood actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead said she deleted her photos “long ago.” The only likely scenario is that she erased them from her device — but not the backups on the cloud.

Apple says that the breaches in security were targeted at the celebrities.  The iCloud and Find my iPhone systems were not hacked to gain access to the celebrity photos.

The company released this statement to the media, “We wanted to provide an update to our investigation into the theft of photos of certain celebrities. When we learned of the theft, we were outraged and immediately mobilized Apple’s engineers to discover the source. Our customers’ privacy and security are of utmost importance to us. After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet. None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud® or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.

To protect against this type of attack, we advise all users to always use a strong password and enable two-step verification. Both of these are addressed on our website at http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4232.”