Apple has acknowledged that some celebrity accounts were indeed compromised, but it nevertheless vouches for the security of its iCloud services.
For those unaware of the issue, over the long Labor Day weekend news surfaced that hackers managed to dig up a vast collection of nude photos of celebrities, even if the photos in question had been deleted for a good while. In light of this event, Apple came under fire over the security of its iCloud.
Apple has now issued an official statement to address the issue, acknowledging that hackers have indeed stolen a set of pictures from celebrity phones. According to the company, this was the result of targeted attacks based on the victims' user names, passwords, and security questions.
"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," Apple reckons in its statement.
"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 of Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved."
In other words, the company denies any allegations that its iCloud services suffered a wider exploit. Apple further recommends that users choose a strong password and enable two-step verification to increase security and minimize the risk of having their accounts compromised.
Nevertheless, this celebrity hacking is among the highest-profile and most serious public scandals Apple has faced in a while. Cloud services in general had to stave off skepticism and distrust over security concerns, but that hasn't stopped them from seeing growing adoption rates.
This new fiasco Apple is facing, however, comes at a terrible time for the company, as we're just one week away from the highly-anticipated iPhone 6 launch on Sept. 9. It remains to be seen whether this celebrity hack will affect sales of the iPhone 6 or other iGadgets set to debut this year.