By Edward Cardenas
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – Apple issued a press release Tuesday stating that theft of celebrity photos was due to a “targeted attack” and not through a breach of iCloud or Find my iPhone.
According to the company, engineers were mobilized to “discover the source” and found “that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions.”
The findings also determined there wasn’t a wide-spread breach of the Apple’s systems, and the company is continuing to work “with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.”
Apple’s statement comes just days after photos of Kate Upton and her boyfriend, Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, Jennifer Lawrence and nearly 100 others appeared Sunday on the image-based bulletin board 4chan, according to CNET.
Some photos posted on the bulletin board and shared on social media were confirmed, while others were alleged to be fakes by the celebrities.
Multiple investigations have reportedly been launched into the hacking of the private Cloud accounts and phones of female celebrities and the release of their intimate photos.
The photos were reportedly taken from cloud-based storage accounts, with some reports citing Apple’s iCloud as the source of the pictures.
In addition to Apple investigating the hack, the FBI will also reportedly launch an investigation into accessing and release of the photos.
For Apple users concerned about the safety of their photos and other data in the cloud, there are some steps that can be made to protect information.
First is have strong, unique passwords. There is a two-step verification feature available to access an Apple ID account or make iTunes and App Store purchases.
According Apple, users can follow these steps for the two-step verification:
- Go to My Apple ID.
- Select Manage your Apple ID and sign in.
- Select Password and Security.
- Under Two-Step Verification, select Get Started and follow the onscreen instructions.
Once a two-step verification process is established with a trusted device – which one that can receive a four-digit verification code – any time a users signs in to manage their Apple ID at My Apple ID or make an iTunes, App Store, or iBooks Store purchase from a new device, they will need to verify their identity by entering both their password and a 4-digit verification code.
According to Endgadget, a bug in the Find My iPhone service may have allowed the hacker to access the accounts. The publication stated that glitch has been fixed.