In case you managed to miss THE BIGGEST STORY ON THE INTERNET, last week celebrity photos were hacked and nude pictures of 100 actors and singers emerged online. The blame was initially placed on security flaws within Apple’s iCloud service (a blame perpetuated by a heavily shared tweet from Kirsten Dunst – we’ll leave you to decipher her emojis).
Apple released a statement yesterday which concluded that, after 40 hours of investigation by engineers, the leak was the result of “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.” However, the gang behind the leak maintain that iCloud was the vulnerable link they needed, and are now under investigation by the FBI after a bitcoin-funded disappearance.
One positive of this leak is that it has prompted debate and awareness on the nature of digital ephemera and privacy invasion. No matter its nature, if it’s digital – it’s available. A slew of articles have appeared, outlining the risks and possible solutions to keeping your digital files safe; be they your music, your life’s work, or things you’d just rather not share with the world. Devices which automatically update all information to cloud services are especially dangerous as users may not realise the number of files they are sharing into the ether. This unfortunate invasion of privacy will hopefully lead to more people worldwide understanding the risks involved with using smartphones for personal use, and use the horrible experience of Jlaw and co to inform their decisions.
Motives for the leak have been pondered (money, power, fame, boobs…) but we like to think that it is actually the biggest marketing stunt of all time for (the surely underwhelming) film ‘Sex Tape’. This remains to be confirmed.
This article originally appeared in Moving World Wednesday 20140903