Apple faces firestorm over celeb hacking

lawrrenceIt appears that the Tame Apple Press are finally giving up on Jobs’ Mob and admitting that the leak of racy celebrity photos was actually caused by a security fault on Apple’s iCloud.

Earlier this week it looked like Apple was going to avoid any mention in the hack as the press insisted that such an attack on the iCloud was impossible because it had this magical thing called “encryption.” Apple even went as far as denying that the iCloud was breached by hackers who posted nude pictures of celebrities.

Photos from the celebrities were stolen individually, the company said. The celebrity accounts were “compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that is all too common on the Internet,” Apple insisted.

However by yesterday it was clear that Apple was not going to get away with that. Journalists were starting to ask real security experts about how hackers got the information and it was fairly clear that there was a bit of a tiny weeny hole in the iCloud.

Reuters, which normally spins pro-Apple adverts pretending to be news, sheepishly admitted that the highly public affair remains potentially one of Apple’s worst public crises in years. Speculation continues to spread on blogs about flaws in the iCloud service.

Brandwatch, a company that analyses sentiment on social media, blogs and other sites, found Apple had received 17,000 mentions on Twitter were related to the security breach and the negative words associated Apple’s iCloud service include “violation,” “disgusting violation,” “criminality,” “failure,” “glitch” and “disappointment”.

What is worrying Reuters is that it could upset Apple’s coming launch of the iPhone 6 which actually includes features that use the iCloud for mobile payments. After all, if you are in the middle of a security crisis the last thing you want is to tell potential customers that the same technology which handed over naked pictures of beautiful celebs to the paparazzi can be doing the same thing with your credit card information.

“This could be a scary time publicly for Apple,” JD Sherry, vice president of cybersecurity provider Trend Micro wrote in a Tuesday blogpost. “They haven’t had many, Antennagate and Apple Maps come to mind, and this would most likely trump those.”