Apple needs to improve its iCloud security and it needs to come up with fast solutions. Former Gizmodo writer Mat Honan’s story shows how AppleCare can help hackers to access Apple users’ iCloud accounts, resulting in other hacked accounts.
The news of Mat Honan’s iCloud account being hacked made me think about the current security level of an iCloud account. If a hacker calls AppleCare and presents itself as you (you may or may not be a public figure) and has the ability to give all the information they need, you can end up with your iCloud account being hacked and your iPhone, iPad, Mac desktops and portables wiped off remotely. In addition, all accounts linked to your iCloud account could be accessed and used for other purposes with which you do not wish to be associated.
That’s exactly what happened to former Gizmodo employee, Wired’s Matthew Honan. First they accessed his iCloud email and reset his password, and then the hell ride began: the hacker remotely wiped off Honan’s iPhone, iPad and Macbook Air. But it didn’t stop there: his Twitter account was next, which was linked to Gizmodo, so they were able to gain entry to that as well. At the time he wrote for them, but anyways, Gizmodo’s Twitter followers—nearly 500,000—received racist and offensive messages for about 15 minutes between 5:15 and 5:30 PT.
But there is more: Mat Honan woke up to find his Gmail account deleted too, and since he wasn’t careful enough to use a backup disk (remember Time Machine) all the information stored on his devices is now gone—at least for the moment. Hopefully, he will get it back with the help of Apple Genius.
Well, that’s a digital life wiped out within minutes. It sounds scary, because it really is. This, however, is an warning to Apple to do something, and do it quick, to secure iCloud access. I hope Apple is already working on a more secure password reset.Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback