Icloud celebrity hack photos

21.08.2018
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Countless celebrity nude photo leaks being blamed on supposed iCloud hack (Updated)

A plethora of reports are swirling around the internet that countless private celebrity photos have leaked (no, were not going to link you), andwhat are as of right now baselessrumors claim that someone found a vulnerability in Apples iCloudplatform and exploited it to obtain the images. Of the celebrities reportedly involved are Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Avril Livigne, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Mary Kate Olsen, Hillary Duff, and many others.

News of the leaked images first started spreading on a 4chan /b/ thread earlier today, where many users have made claims that the leaks are due to at least one person maliciously exploiting iCloud and various celebrities cell phones. Reports on 4chan also claim that the hacker has acquired videos as welland intends to sell them to TMZ for as much as six figures. Of course, most of this information is from an anonymous 4chan board, so take it with a heaping pile of salt.

But the fact remains that these private photos are definitely making the rounds, and many celebrities have taken to Twitter to seemingly confirm that at least some of them are indeed real. Most notably, Mary Winstead says she can only imagine the creepy effort that went into the leaks.

Photo Stream automatically syncs photos to iCloud as theyre taken, but its not yet known how the hackerif they did indeed manage to hack iCloudgot ahold of so many different celebrities photos across so many accounts. Mary Winstead mentions that the leaked photos of hers were deleted long ago, which raises even more questions includingwhether or not a deleted iCloud photo is ever truly deleted. But that, of course, assumes that iCloud is the problem here.

As many have noted intending to prove that iCloud isnt the source of these nudes, videos dont work with My Photo Stream. You can, as of iOS 7, upload them to shared streams (and therefore iCloud) and, perhaps more importantly, iCloud will also upload them to the cloud when performing a full device backup. Having access to an iCloud account would mean that a hacker could effectively restore the account to a wiped phone.

Some celebrities have reported that they dont even use an iPhone, which leads most to believe that the hacker got these filesfrom multiple sources (which is probably likely anyway) orthat some other cloud service could bethe real culprit. Perhaps more interesting, however, is that some celebrities, namely Trisha Hershberger, have proven that their nudes are actually fake and, coincidentally, they dont use an iPhone.

Weve reached out to Apple for comment on the situation. In the meantime, now is a good time to remind you to turn on two-factor authentication on your iCloud account.

Update: A vulnerability in the Find My Phone service may have allowed hackers to brute-force themselves into celebrity accounts.

Its still speculation at this point that iCloud is involved at all, but avulnerability found in Find My iPhone could have permitted hackers to brute-force their way into accounts by guessing a huge number of passwords that fall in line with Apples criteria. In order for this method of attack to work, the accounts of the celebrities in question would have to have relatively weak passwords. But as many celebrities know each other and would have other celebrities contacts in their address books, its possible that contacts data could be used to identify the account email addresses of others, effectively creating a chain of hacks.

The program,being called iBrute and exploiting a flaw now patched that let the program guess an unlimited number of passwords without being locked out, hasnt been linked directly to any attack on iCloud. But saidsecurity flaw that it took advantage of came to light and was fixed on the same day of the leak of countless private celebrity photos, so the timing is definitely a little uncanny.

Update 2: Apple has issued a statement to Re/codesaying that theyre actively investigating whether or not iCloud was actually involved in leaking the private images. We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report, Natalie Kerris, spokesperson for Apple, said.

Update 3: As pointed out by Mashable, the iBrute program was released just three days before the leak of the first celebrity photo, which may not have been enough time for this specific vulnerability to have been exploited to the extent needed to leak hundreds of celebrities nude photos.On August 30th,Andrey Belenko and Alexey Troshichev, security researchers withviaForensics and HackApp, respectively, gave an in-depth report (link to presentation slides) at Defcon Russia on the state of iCloud security, and iBrute was their proof of concept.

In the presentation,viaForensics actually outlines how Find My iPhone isnt the only security flawhere. Supposedly, hackers may have been able to guess a users iCloud Security Code offline, which therefore not triggering a lock out mechanism similar to one that was missing from Find My iPhone.

In terms of how this applies to the issue at hand, the iBrute Find My iPhone flaw being patched this morning may have simply been a result of this security talk and had nothing to do with the leaked images.


Update 4: Actress Kirsten Dunst appears to credit iCloud for her photos beingleaked.

Update 5: The United StatesFBI is investigating the alleged iCloud hack, according to an FBI spokesperson (via The Telegraph):

[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.Any further comment would be inappropriate at this time.

Update 6: Apple has denied that iCloud was actually breached, and says that this was actually a very targeted attack on certain celebrities.


icloud celebrity hack photos
Celebrity Photos Hacker Asking For Leniency

Follow CBSMIAMI.COM:Facebook|Twitter

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) A man is asking for leniency while facing sentencing for hacking into more than 250 iCloud accounts of Hollywood stars and other people.

George Garofano, of North Branford, was one of four men arrested in the 2014 hacking scandal that led to private photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst, Kate Upton and others being made public. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 29 in federal court in Bridgeport.

Garofano recently filed court documents asking for no more than five months in prison followed by five months of home confinement. Thats less than the 10 to 16 months in prison he faces under his felony guilty plea in April.

Garofano says he faces a lifetime loss of rights because of the felony conviction and has already suffered punishment since his arrest.

( Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments CBS Miami Third Hacker Charged in 2014 iCloud Hack That Leaked Celebrity Photos

A third person has agreed to plead guilty to hacking over 550 computers in the 2014 iCloud hack that exposed private photos of dozens of celebrities.Emilio Herrera from Chicago is expected to plead guilty to a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, facing a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.

The FBI had launched an investigation back in 2014 after nude photos of a number of celebrities mostly female were leaked online after their iCloud accounts were breached. The so-called Celebgatescandal hit some of the biggest Hollywood stars, including the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Kim Kardashian.

635959816232371752-epa-usa-new-york-stock-exchange-2Related Goldman Downgrades Intel While Upgrading Outlook for AMD

A year and half into the investigation, the USDepartment of Justice (DoJ) first charged Ryan Collins, a Pennsylvania man with the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.Ryan Collins had managed to access over 50 iCloudand 72 Gmail accountsin aphishing scheme that he ran from November 2012 until September 2014, giving himusernames and passwords for his victims. Following Collins arrest, the FBI had named a second suspect, Edward Majerczyk from Chicago, whopleaded guilty to felony computer hacking charges and was sentenced to nine months in prison.Majerczyk was also ordered to pay $5,700 to an unnamed victim.

Herrera finally faces charges after years of investigation into 2014 iCloud hack of celebrity accounts

Now,Herrera who was firstidentified as a suspect responsible for the hack last year has agreed to plead guilty to the charges (via Deadline). Similar to the other two,Herrera had also sent phishing emails to dupe victims into giving up their details.

Between May 31, 2013, and August 31, 2014, his [Herreras]IP address was used to access approximately 572 unique iCloud accounts, and in total, the unique iCloud accounts were accessed 3,263 times.

So far no evidence linksHerrera to the actual leak of the explicit celebrity images, as he has been only charged for running the phishing campaign, not for leaking the data. Reports in 2016 had suggested thatit was possible that Herrera was completely unaware that his computer was being used as a scapegoat by hackers.

The 2014 iCloud hack is perhaps one of the most opaque cases as details have always remained scarce. It was believed that a combination of poor passwords, lack of 2 factor authentication, and a security vulnerability in Apples Find My iPhone feature had enabled mass collection of data by these hackers.The investigation has also taken a long time despite FBI having named these three suspects nearly two years ago. Now, all three defendants from Illinois and Pennsylvania have been charged, facing less than 18 months in federal prison.

iCloud Data Breach: Hacking And Celebrity Photos

Dave Lewis I write about hackers, breaches and enterprise security.

A few days ago a group calling themselves hackappcom posted a proof of concept script on the popular code repository called Github that would allow for a user to attempt to breach iCloud and access a user account. This script would query iCloud services via the Find My iPhone API to guess username and password combinations. The problem here was that apparently Apple was not limiting the number of queries. This allowed for attackers to have numerous chances to guess password combinations without the fear of being locked out.

This script was an output from a talk that was given by Andrey Belenko and Alexey Troshichev called, iCloud Keychain and iOS 7 Data Protectionat the Russian Defcon Group DCG#7812. Based on the note that they postedafter the news of the breach started to circulate, they were rather upset that their script was being used to a malicious end.

In justification I can only mention, that we only described the way HOW to hack AppleID. Stealing private "hot" data is outside of our scope of interests. We discuss such methods of hacks in our's narrow range, just to identify all the ways how privacy can by abused.

For everyone, who was involved in this incident, I want to remind, that today we are living in Brave New Global World, when privacy protection wasn't ever so weak, and you have to consider, that all you data from "smart" devices could be accessible from internet,which is the place of anarchy, and, as result, could be source of undesirable and unfriendly activity.

The law of unintended consequences at its finest.

As a result, some ne'er do wells accessed the accounts of some Hollywood actors and leaked their personal pictures online. So, why were these pictures in iCloud? For those of you who may be unaware, iCloud is a service that is offered by Apple to backup data from a users iThinger of choice. This service could allow a person to backup their email, contacts, calendars, notes, passbook, keychain and photos to name a few. In the case of a large group of celebrities their data was breached when attackers gained access to their accounts. An unfortunate outcome to say the least.

I nervously checked the settings on my iPhone after news of this incident broke only to find that no, I was not using the service. No nude photos of me. Trust me, that's a blessing.

While this incident has unfortunate ramifications for the victims it has been a great wake up call for others thanks to the huge amount of press coverage. This is an excellent opportunity for people to clean up their password practices and improve their personal security posture. So, how does one avoid this sort of problem? Well, there are few things that you can do to help to potentially avoid this type of end result. First off you can enable two factor authenticationon your iCloud account. Once this is enabled a user would receive a four digit SMS message with a code to input in addition to their password. This way, if a password is compromised the attacker would still need an SMS code to gain access to the user account.

A second thing to keep in mind is the use of a strong password. Using one such as password1 is simply inviting disaster. Youd be better served using a password such as hGYcq6QE6agG8[N&j+a. or better still, a pass phrase.

The last piece to take into account is making use of a password manager. This is a piece of software that can manage your passwords for you securely. There are excellent products out there that can do this for you such as 1Passwordfrom Agilebits, Keepassand Lastpassto name a few.

It is early in the investigation into this breach but, [entity display="Apple" type="organization" subtype="company" key="apple" ticker="AAPL" exchange="NASDAQ" natural_id="fred/company/280" active="false"]Apple[/entity]managed to quickly patch the exposure. Hopefully, the worst is over for the affected parties.

(Image used under CC from PinkMoose)

I am an Advisory CISO - Global for Duo Security. I have over two decades of industry experience with extensive experience in IT operations and management. I am the founder of the security site Liquidmatrix Security Digest and co-host of the Liquidmatrix podcast. Prior to my ...

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