Celebrity nude photos leaked through iCloud


Photo Courtesy: Lisa Chen

Prayag Bhakar, Contributing Writer

Around 200 photos of nude celebrities, stolen from their iPhones, were leaked to the public through an internet forum called 4Chan on Aug. 31 and spread across the internet through social networks. The hackers took these images from the backups of celebrities devices, which were stored on iCloud. Apple says that these hacks have been patched and that it is no longer possible to use tools to access users’ information, but it still leaves some questions as to if their fix is foolproof.

The images seem to have been circulating within a group for some time, preying on people’s iClouds using code scripts designed to access those files. These images did not come from the celebrities’ Photo Stream but from their backups. These backups cannot be accessed or deleted by the Apple users.

Since the leak, the photos have been published on social networks and websites. The leaks have led to discussions regarding privacy, saying celebrities, such as Jennifer Lawrence, should not be victimized.

According to senior Vignesh Karthikeyan, the leak exemplifies the inequality of women.

“It’s another example of prejudice and awful treatment of women in our society,” Karthikeyan said.

The FBI has since raided 4Chan servers and deleted the pictures from their database. Other image hosting services now see this as a problem and have started removing the images.

Apple says there was not a breach on its iCloud, but the usernames and passwords were attacked. The tool used by the hackers exploited a weakness in Apple’s Find My iPhone code. This allowed the hackers to make a program that would guess the Apple ID password and username until they got it right, without having to answer the security question. To help prevent this, Apple suggests all users of their products initiate the 2-Factor Authentication (2FA), which is a two-step login.

This recent hack brought potential turmoil to the company’s future with new products such as the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch coming out later this year. Some Apple users continue to doubt Apple’s claims over the security of iCloud.

Sophomore Andie Evans worries about the security of her own information.

“If somebody was able to hack, say a paper, and change things and make it out to be like I plagiarized something, that hurts me in my educational career,” Evans said. “I do not feel safe about that.”