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'iCloud was not breached': Apple responds to celebrity nude picture hack

The company says it was a targeted attack and does not represent a wider risk.

Jennifer Lawrence was among the highest profile celebrity to have their photos stolen.
Jennifer Lawrence was among the highest profile celebrity to have their photos stolen.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

APPLE HAS SAID that the recent hacking and theft of photos from celebrities was the result of a “very targeted attack” and has not resulted in a breach of iCloud or other Apple systems.

Almost two days since the private photos of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst and Kate Upton were released on 4chan, Apple have made their first public comment.

There have been concerns that the theft of the photos demonstrated that information saved on a person’s cloud account was vulnerable.

Apple have said this evening that they have found that the attack was aimed specifically at the celebrities in question and targeted their password and security questions:

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. None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone.

“To protect against this type of attack, we advise all users to always use a strong password and enable two-step verification,” Apple added in their statement.

Apple also said that they were working with law enforcement to help identify those responsible for the hacking, with the FBI saying yesterday that they are also investigating the allegations.

“The FBI is aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high-profile individuals, and is addressing the matter,” the US law enforcement agency said.

Representatives for Lawrence have confirmed that the naked pictures of the Oscar-winning actress were genuine and threatened to prosecute anyone posting them.

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Chris Morales, a security specialist with NSS Labs, said that the hack appeared to be going on for some time, accessing multiple accounts — not just of celebrities but of their friends and associates.

“The pictures weren’t just from celebrity accounts,” Morales said. “They might have been from friends or ex-boyfriends or other people. Someone did a lot of digging.”

Morales added that it is possible that the person or persons who leaked the pictures were not the hackers, but obtained the photos later. 

Additional reporting by © – AFP 2014

Read: Thinking of looking at those J-Law nude pics? Here’s why you shouldn’t >

Read: Those stolen nude pics of Jennifer Lawrence are real >

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Rónán Duffy

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