While Spain was going to bed, the United States was burning with the publication of a huge amount of compromising photos on 4chan, the forum where most of the bullshit you can find on the Internet today is born. Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games), Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), Kirsten Dunst (Spiderman), the model Kate Upton or singers like Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez are just some of the best known names on an ever-growing list.
A succulent news, without a doubt, to which Apple puts the perfect cherry with infinity of means taking for granted a fact that until now is no more than pure speculation: iCloud could be the source of the photos . Newspapers such as El Mundo even talk about security flaws, when the truth is that not even the author of the leak himself has given much information about it.
It may be worth taking advantage of this incident to reconsider the security and privacy of the services we use
What is certain is that among the photographs we see selfies made with Android phones, thumbs.db files from Windows, videos in WebM format instead of MP4, the Dropbox startup PDF… in short, a series of red flags that should at least invite caution while we wait for an official statement from Apple that will most likely arrive.
Note, the possibility that the hacker has exploited some security vulnerability is there, and just at the time of writing these lines new data has emerged about a bug in the Search My iPhone API detected a few days ago (and fortunately already solved) that allowed brute force attacks to the Apple cloud service. It’s not about defending anyone, but about aiming before shooting.
Even so, you won’t be surprised that we are dealing with another case of phishing like the one that affected Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis two years ago. On that occasion, the hacker, finally identified and sentenced to ten years in prison, managed to access his victims’ emails using the classic fake messages in which someone poses as our email provider, informing us of a problem and offering us a link to recover our password. The weakest link is always the user.
Having said that, and avoiding any cheap moralising that points to the victims and not to the perpetrator, it might be worth taking advantage of this incident to reconsider the security and privacy of the services we use . Unknown to her, Jennifer Lawrence joked a few months ago during an interview for MTV about her problems with iCloud, a service that fortunately will see its photo and video synchronization function greatly simplified with iOS 8.
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Returning to the subject, the JLaw representative has validated the authenticity of the photographs, pointing out the “flagrant violation of privacy” that constitutes their dissemination. The actress Mary E. Winstead has also confirmed the authenticity of hers, while Victoria Justice has shown that in her case it is a montage made with Photoshop. The proliferation of counterfeits in the heat of the moment is what it is all about.
We will keep you informed about this matter as soon as we have some official information, but in the meantime, I leave you with the thoughts of our Faq-Mac colleagues, who were predicting an important Apple-related scandal just for this week, before one of the most expected Keynotes of the last years. We don’t want to get conspiratorial, but the timing couldn’t be more timely of course.