Apple ups iCloud security after “iBrute” hacking of celebrity photos

Lynsey Barber
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Apple is stepping up security features (Source: Getty)

Apple is ramping up iCloud security after the accounts of dozens of celebrities were hacked and naked photos leaked online.

The tech giant will introduce additional security features for iCloud following the high-profile hack, which it said was not the result of a brute force attack on its servers but due to a “targeted attack on user names” in which hackers were able to crack passwords and security questions to break into accounts.

Apple will alert users with email and push notifications when someone tries to change an account password, restore iCloud data to a new device, or when a device logs into an account for the first time, Apple chief Tim Cook told the Wall Street Journal.

In his first public interview on the incident as Apple attempts to restore confidence ahead of next week’s launch event, Cook admitted the brand could have done more to alert people to the dangers posed by hackers and the importance of strong passwords.

"When I step back from this terrible scenario that happened and say what more could we have done, I think about the awareness piece. I think we have a responsibility to ratchet that up. That's not really an engineering thing."

Apple will also step up two-step authentication- the use of a second security measure in addition to passwords- in future, and plans to aggressively encourage people to use it in the new version of iOS.

Cook said the tech company is also working with authorities to investigate the hack and identify the culprits.

Apple shares tumbled this week from a record high after nude pictures of celebrities, stolen from their iCloud accounts, were published online.

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