Apple claims that the recent celebrity photo leak scandal that affected over 100 celebrities was not the result of a security breach in its systems. Rather, they say, it was a targeted attack on celebrity usernames, passwords and security questions.
After being notified of reports of an iCloud breach, Apple spent over 40 hours investigating its systems involved with the attack that led to the leak of compromising photos of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian and Kate Upton.
The photos were stolen early last week and posted to the web forum 4chan. Users offered to exchange the photos for paypal and bitcoin payments. Soon after the photos were leaked, they began to circulate on Twitter, as well. Several Twitter account holders have already faced suspension after retweeting the photos.
It was originally believed that Apple’s iCloud and Find My iPhone devices were the victims of a security breach, but Apple has said that further investigation shows that this is not the case. Although Apple representatives declined to comment, an official statement from the company suggested that proper safety precautions had not been exercised by the celebrities that were targeted.
Skeptics, however, say that while Apple’s systems were not in fact breached, their poor security measures are what allowed the celebrity photos to be stolen in the first place.
Securing private information has become a bigger issue as more and more businesses face attacks by hackers. This year alone has seen more than 300 data breaches, including hacks on major companies like eBay, PayPal and Target in which private customer information was stolen.
The thieves responsible for stealing the photos and posting them on the web have not yet been identified, but Apple is working with officials to get to the bottom of the issue.