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12.10.2018
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Apple Releases Statement About Celebrity Photo Leaks

Apple has released a media advisory concerning the celebrity photo leaks over the weekend. The company says that after over 40 hours of investigation, their engineers have found that the leaks were the result of “very targeted attacks” on user names, passwords, and security questions.

iCloud

Apple goes on to say that none of the cases it investigated resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone. The company advises all users to always use a strong password and enable two-step verification.

Apple’s Statement:

We wanted to provide an update to our investigation into the theft of photos of certain celebrities. When we learned of the theft, we were outraged and immediately mobilized Apple’s engineers to discover the source. Our customers’ privacy and security are of utmost importance to us. 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. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.

To protect against this type of attack, we advise all users to always use a strong password and enable two-step verification. Both of these are addressed on our website at http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4232.

Apple says it is continuing to work with law enforcement officials to help identify the parties involved in the leak.

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What celebrity photo leaks Can Teach Us About Data Management and Security

Scarlett Johansson, Prince Harry and Weird Al – it's pretty easy to see what they have in common. They are all famous figures. However, their figures got a little more famous when their private photos were 'leaked' online. I sincerely apologize for that Weird Al imagery.

An unintentional flash of celebrity skin always makes the headlines – how exactly do these scandalous photos make it off stars personal phones and onto the World Wide Web? There are a few scenarios:

  • Publicity stunt.
  • Old phone gets thrown out/traded in/sold/recycled etc. and someone decides to do a little digging.
  • The phone gets lost or stolen and someone claims finders' keepers.

If it's number one, that's their own prerogative. Number two or three however, can cause major problems including financial loss, reputation loss, litigation risk and more. Maybe your own data leak wouldn't make the cover of a tabloid but the risk and potential damages are still the same.

With 1.75 billion smartphone users worldwide, the subject of data management and security is an important one to understand. Everyone knows that when passing on a phone it's important to delete the information and data off of it. Many do this with a factory reset – unfortunately, all it takes is a curious person and a few minutes of Googling to pull your old data from the depths of a seemingly blank phone.

Here at Wondershare, we wanted to see just how much data we could pull off of a random phone. So – we purchased a used phone off of EBay. Using Dr. fone(iOS 9, iPhone 6S Plus/6S supported), we were able to recover over 2,400 photos, 100+ videos, 18 contacts and hundreds of other various files. You can see more details about that experiment here.

Data Management and Security

I am confident that the seller of this phone didn't knowingly put their phone on EBay still chalked full of personal information. This is why you should always use a permanent data eraser such as SafeEraser. SafeEraser(iOS 9, iPhone 6S Plus/6S supported) is the all to end all – absolutely nothing is recoverable, under any circumstances. Not even Dr. fone can get the data back.

Download Win VersionDownload Mac Version

erase iPhone data

We've all learned a valuable lesson from Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus – shocking right?

They clearly didn't think of the consequences of bad data management until after their naughty photos hit the net. Maybe you don't have their star power, but with proper knowledge and use of expert data management software, you do have the power to protect yourself and your data.

And again, I'm sorry about that whole Weird Al thing.


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