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[September 03, 2014]
Apple Denies ICloud Breach, Investigating Nude Celebrity Photo Leak
(dpa-AFX International Compact Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) CUPERTINO (dpa-AFX) - US technology giant Apple, Inc. (AAPL) said Tuesday it is in the process of fixing a data security breach that compromised private nude photos of more than 100 female celebrities. While providing an update, Apple said none of the cases it has investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple's systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone.
The Cupertino, California-based tech giant said it has already mobilized its engineers to investigate into the theft of photos of certain celebrities and also to identify the source from where the hacking has taken place. The company added that it is outraged after learning of the data theft.
"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," Apple said in the update.
The company noted that it is continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.
Meanwhile, Apple has advised all users to always use a strong password and enable two-step verification in order to protect against such types of attacks.
Though Apple says their investigations do not find any breach in any of Apple's systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone, reports suggest that weakness in the 'Find My iPhone' app allowed hackers to use a bug called ibrute to obtain access to personal iCloud accounts.
The ibrute bug reportedly allowed hackers to try many different passwords in succession, an action prevented on many web services but allowed by iCloud at the time. The photos were allegedly obtained by hackers after breaching cloud-based storage servers including Apple's iCloud.
The photos were initially posted to the chat site 4Chan by an anonymous poster who claimed they were obtained via iCloud. Several of the affected stars including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton have confirmed that they intend to take legal action against the hackers and those who repost the images.
Many celebrities including Lawrence, Upton, Victoria Justice, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ariana Grande and Kirsten Dunst have come forward to confirm that data was in fact stolen from their iCloud accounts by hackers over the weekend. Several of them, including Lawrence, have already reached out to the FBI requesting an inquiry into the breach.
Actress Winstead is said to have confirmed on Twitter that the photos released were those she took with her husband years ago in the privacy of her home, and were deleted long ago.
AAPL closed Tuesday's regular trading session at $103.30, up $0.80 or 0.78% on a volume of 53.56 million shares.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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