Just to begin with I’m not going to share, link, or point to where these photos are so if you came here looking for that then leave now. As you may or may not know there has been an image leak online and more than 20 celebrities’ phones have been hacked. An unknown hacker has done what is called a brute force login and managed to get nude photos off over 20 celebrities iCloud accounts.
Now some have released statements saying that these photos are fake while others are chasing legal action against the hacker. No my stance on this, as I think you can tell, is very clear and that is I don’t agree with what the hacker has done. Now granted if they didn’t want their nude photos out in public then maybe they shouldn’t have taken them. This isn’t the main issue though because you should be able to have your images, documents, and videos on your phone or on your computer without your privacy being invaded.
Just to give you a little background with what it will cost the hacker. You might remember the Scarlet Johanson nude photo leak not that long ago (article here). Well, that hacker got caught and got 10 years in jail for privacy invasion. That was for only for one set of photos but this new hacker has been distributing a large number of sets and if all file legal action he could be in a lot of trouble.
Now I’m not sure what courts will do to him but 10 years for one set and these new guys have released over 20 sets. Collectively that could add up to 200 years but I guess we will see if they catch him and what punishment he will receive. In the end, I don’t think anything can undo what he did as with the internet once it’s out it is very hard to get rid of. People make copies of copies and keep spreading it around.
What does this mean for you?
Well, the majority of the public are safe, the hole in the iCloud security has been patched and you can no longer use the same technique. However, your account might have already been hacked and allegedly it is not just the iCloud service. Other cloud services are reporting to have a similar bug that people may have taken advantage of.
A brute force login attack basically means that they have tried every combination with every username an algorithm can think of and occasionally a correct set of login details come up. The hacker then logs this username and password and logs into the account. They can then find photos that they need/want and keep them.
So my advice to you is to go through your cloud account now and delete what you don’t want public or think might be a bad idea to keep eg. nude photos, images of credit cards, or bank statements. Once you have done this change your password to something secure then contact your cloud service or view their blog to see if they have patched the bug.
If they have then feel free to begin normal use of your cloud service.