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Apple vows to tighten up security after iCloud celebrity hack

The company plans to push two-step authentication and send notifications to users any time someone tries to restore their iCloud account.

Image: AP Photo/Andy Wong

APPLE WILL SOON begin notifying users any time someone tries to restore their iCloud account, in response to the accounts of celebrities being compromised earlier this week.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company plans to start sending the notifications in two weeks, allowing users to take action immediately by changing the password to retake control of their account or alerting Apple’s security team.

He denied that the compromise was down to a lax attitude on Apple’s part, saying it was down to hackers correctly answering security questions to obtain passwords, or through phishing scams.

To ensure that a similar situation won’t occur again, Cook said the company will alert users via email and push notifications whenever someone tries to change an account password, restore iCloud data to a new device or when a device logs into an account for the first time.

Currently, users only get an email when someone tries to change a password or log in for the first time from an unknown Apple device. There were no notifications for restoring iCloud data.

Cook did say that Apple could have done more to make people aware of the dangers of hackers targeting their account.

As a result, it will broaden its use of two-step verification, which requires a user to have a password and a separate four-digit code to sign in, and will push those using the next version of iOS to activate it.

Earlier this week, the company issued a statement to say that iCloud wasn’t breached, and that the compromise was down to a “very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions.”

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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